Councillors carry knives in troubled Ditsobotla municipality

Divisions escalate to life-threatening proportions in the bankrupt Ditsobotla municipality in the North West.

History could repeat itself at the troubled Ditsobotla local municipality in North West: it could have two council speakers at the next meeting and probably two councils again in future.

This comes after the council was divided into two warring groups – both responded to council meetings called separately by an ousted speaker and an ousted municipal manager in an apparent power struggle.

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Parallel council meetings

The ousted acting municipal manager, Mmamorena Lehoko, called a council meeting held in Mahikeng.

But in a dramatic twist, acting council speaker Ronald Matlholoa called another meeting, which elected a new mayor, Thabo Nkashe, ousting incumbent Elizabeth Lethoko.

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Nkashe, who represented the Forum 4 Service Delivery, was elected as mayor on Thursday, with the help of the Democratic Alliance, Economic Freedom Fighters and Save Ditsobotla Movement.

An attempt to hold a council meeting by councillors from the ANC, Patriotic Alliance and African Heart Congress collapsed as it did not form a quorum.

Lehoko had called the meeting to be held at the Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality as it was alleged she wanted councillors to be safe.

Life threatening

Last month, the bankrupt Ditsobotla municipality failed to pay its workers and a security company protecting the municipal building and other property.

It is alleged that some councillors are carrying knives and threatening to stab others.

A source said: “The situation is life-threatening. The only person who has been coming religiously to the office is Muthotho Sigidi who has been deployed by the provincial government.

Other people don’t come because they have not been paid, but others fear they may be stabbed or killed.

NOW READ: No salaries for Ditsobotla employees as municipality’s downward spiral continues