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‘We still love the ANC’

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Nine will not fight the party.

BY-ELECTIONS: The nine expelled ANC councillors, who lost a court battle to be reinstated at Sol Plaatje Municipality, have indicated that they will not be contesting the upcoming by-elections as independent councillors. Vacancies were declared to replace the councillors and the by-elections in their respective wards are scheduled to be held in February next year. Seen here are some of the councillors after the courts decision. Picture: Soraya Crowie

THE NINE expelled ANC councillors, who lost a court battle to be reinstated at Sol Plaatje Municipality, have indicated that they will not be contesting the upcoming by-elections as independent councillors.

Vacancies were declared to replace the councillors and the by-elections in their respective wards are scheduled to be held in February next year

“While it is a bitter pill to swallow, we respect the outcome. However, we have not exhausted all avenues. We still love the ANC, but whether we will do the work of the ANC is still debatable,” the expelled members stated.

The ANC Regional Executive Committee (REC) has meanwhile welcomed the dismissal of the court application to overturn the expulsion of the nine councillors.

REC regional secretary Webster Dichaba believes that the nine councillors were trying to destroy the organisation.

“The court application was nothing but another concerted effort by ill-disciplined councillors who would stoop so low to subvert the ANC from within. The dismissal of their application is thus a positive rejection of their dangerous attempt to try and cast aspersions on the internal democracy of the ANC,” said Dichaba.

“The decision to expel councillors was very tough, as we wanted to unite the ANC in the region. It was a good decision for the organisation as these individuals were a law unto themselves. ANC members must be guided by the ANC constitution and code of conduct. We once again urge our deployees in different spheres of government to behave in a dignified manner. Their primary task is to change the lives of the people of Sol Plaatje and not to engage in political battles.”

Dichaba acknowledged the need to restore stability in the region and at municipalities.

“We are committed to putting our people first and making sure that services are rendered to every household in this region.”

Dichaba also congratulated the newly-elected Sol Plaatje executive mayor, Patrick Mabilo.

“He has a virtuous track record and we know as the ANC in the region that he is dedicated and will always be guided by the policies of the ANC to change the lives of our people in Sol Plaatje Municipality. His first task will be to unite the caucus and address issues faced by the community of Sol Plaatje and deliver services.”

DA councillor Reinette Liebenberg explained that the opposition party had walked out of Wednesday’s council meeting as processes were being “manipulated” by the ANC.

“It came as little surprise that the agenda point on the Section 106 report into maladministration was once again brushed aside. The DA respects a court interdict relating to restricting council from acting on recommendations that must be implemented against the chief financial officer. In the interest of accountability and consequence management, however, we could at least have started to discuss how to move forward and put processes in place to address accountability and corruption,” said Liebenberg.

She added that the DA was also opposed to the swearing in of the new mayor as it was not itemised on the agenda. “This is despite the ANC having known full well that it was going to go ahead with the swearing in, pending its successful expulsion of the nine ANC councillors who previously voted in favour of ousting former mayor Mangaliso Matika.”

Liebenberg stated that Mabilo had a “shady track record”.

“He is clearly not someone that Kimberley residents can be proud of to call their mayor.”

Mabilo, who served as the executive director of community and social development at the time, was dismissed from council in December 2007 after he was found guilty of misconduct.

An investigation was launched into charges of misconduct relating to poor management of the local municipal pleasure resorts, conflict with managers under his supervision, the employment of relations in temporary positions and not following supply chain management processes.

Due to the long period of time that has passed, justice authorities were yesterday unable to confirm whether the Hawks investigation against Mabilo, dating back to 2014, into alleged credit card fraud amounting to around R200 000, had been finalised.

At the time, Mabilo was serving as MEC for the Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison.

Mabilo was cleared of animal abuse and neglect charges in December 2014.

His dogs were confiscated in 2011 by the SPCA after they were found to be severely malnourished and infested with ticks and parasites.

At the time of his acquittal Mabilo had indicated that he had entrusted the welfare of the dogs to two of his employees.