“The ruling party is disregarding their voters while the mayor, who was elected as the choice of the people, is locked out of his office,”
COPE has called for Sol Plaatje Municipality to be dissolved and believes that the provincial leadership is failing in its duties to take action against corruption at the municipality.
Cope national chairperson Pakes Dikgetsi questioned the inaction of the premier despite the fact that Sol Plaatje Municipality is teetering on the brink of collapse.
“The Section 106 investigation report only scratches the surface. A lot more work needs to be done. Blame is apportioned on officials while politicians central to the rot at the municipality are being promoted. If the municipality is unable to execute its duties, the premier is expected to intervene. Therefore the municipality should be placed under administration until the national general elections,” said Dikgetsi.
During a whirlwind visit to the city, Cope president Terror Lekota said that Sol Plaatje Municipality was “leaderless”.
“The ruling party is disregarding their voters while the mayor, who was elected as the choice of the people, is locked out of his office,” said Lekota.
He added that he wanted an explanation from the Cope councillor at Sol Plaatje, who had collaborated with the ruling party when opposition councillors had voted the former mayor, Mangaliso Matika, out of office.
Lekota stated that the party would interdict the 2019 national general elections should Parliament fail to pass an amendment to the electoral legislation to allow independent candidates to contest the provincial and national elections.
“Independent candidates can currently only contest the local government elections. We are prepared to go all the way up to the Electoral and Constitutional Court as citizens have the right to stand as democratically elected representatives of the community. An independent candidate is accountable to the community and will be dealt with and removed if they are corrupt, unlike the ruling party who shield and or promote those who should be recalled.”
Lekota stated that the president, premiers, mayors and councillors should be voted in by citizens. “The people must govern who represents them.”
He said he was concerned about reports that raw sewage was leaking into the Vaal River and polluting the water supply.
“You cannot even walk in the streets, as they are flooded with sewage.”
Cope deputy president Willie Madisha believed that South Africans were in no better position than they were before the dawn of democracy.
“The ANC is worse than the apartheid government. The bloated Cabinet drives luxury cars, is protected by a contingent of bodyguards, earn fat salaries and enjoy free houses and groceries, at the expense of the poor.”