Home News Sol councillors celebrate ‘victory’

Sol councillors celebrate ‘victory’

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Councillors pointed out that should the ANC councillors be removed from their positions, bi-elections would have to be held

TAKING A STAND: Opposition councillors yesterday passed a motion of no confidence in Sol Plaatje Executive Mayor, Mangaliso Matika and elected Pule Thabane (inset) as acting mayor and Boitumelo Stout as acting speaker. Pictures: Danie van der Lith and Sandi Kwon Hoo

SOL PLAATJE councillors celebrated victory in the long-running battle to topple executive mayor Mangaliso Matika, after holding an urgent special council meeting yesterday.

The city technically has two mayors and two Speakers now, where both parties are challenging each other to go to court over the appointments.

The acting Speaker, Boitumelo Stout, who tabled the motion of no confidence in Matika yesterday, advised the house that the upper rungs of council were officially occupied with acting officials.

Councillors who attended yesterday’s special meeting do not believe that Matika will take the matter lying down and they expect him to fight against his removal.

ANC councillors that participated in the meeting were commended for their “bravery”, where they were apparently threatened that they would lose their jobs or have their membership revoked if they participated in the motion of no confidence.

Councillors pointed out that should the ANC councillors be removed from their positions, bi-elections would have to be held.

“We will all vote for these councillors if they stand as independent candidates because they have the guts to do what is right.”

Opposition parties meanwhile said that disciplinary action would be taken against their councillors who had abstained or voted against the motion to remove the mayor.

DA chief whip Christopher Phiri stated that the victory was only possible because council as a collective had stood united.

“Kimberley was on the brink of a catastrophe and councillors worked towards the greater good of restoring stability to the city.

“It is not about political affiliations but rather what is in the best interests of the community. We followed all due procedures and if anyone wishes to challenge the outcome, they are free to do so in court. Our leaders need to be held accountable for their actions.”

Independent councillor Norman Hammer hoped that peace would finally be restored to the city.

He advised the newly-elected acting mayor, Pula Thabane, to uphold the ethics, principles and morals of council and to “never be compromised”.

The chairperson of the Northern Cape Civics Organisation, Ross Henderson, believes that it will be difficult to challenge the removal of Matika.

“If the ANC or Matika decide to take this matter on review, they should do so at their own expense. They should stop using ratepayers’ money as a milking cow,” Henderson added.

Provincial executive member of the Northern Cape Civics Organisation, Lucas Ruiters, added that the ANC councillors who had “put their head on the block” were placing the interests of the community first.

“Council is heading in the right direction in rooting out corruption. We will not think twice about approaching the courts if any more of taxpayers’ money is wasted.”