Limpopo ‘mayor from hell uses a Porsche’ to attend to duties

Aaron Mokgehle has been described as a mayor from hell since taking office at Lephalale Local Municipality.

A Limpopo “mayor from hell” had ordered for the management at the supply chain management to be changed, just two days after he was sworn in at the troubled Lephalale Local Municipality.

Aaron Mokgehle replaced Luisa Shongwe, who served as mayor for only three months. Mokgehle was sworn in on 16 May, but two days later, his fellow comrades and municipal officials had already called him names, including a “mayor from hell”.

Not right heir to throne

The Citizen was reliably informed that the brouhaha started when Mokgehle allegedly refused to wear a mayoral chain on the day of his swearing in. He had waited for nearly two years, since November 2021, to become mayor.

This after councillors from the majority of the ANC branches in Lephalale officially launched objections with the ANC’s dispute resolution committee, headed by former president Kgalema Motlanthe, claiming Mokgehle was not the right “heir to the throne”.

NOW READ: Luthuli House orders investigation into ‘parachuted’ election candidates

Among other things, the branches alleged Mokgehle had sponsored an opposition party, prior the 2021 general election, to campaign against the ANC. The opposition had later won the elections and was currently one of the opposition parties in the Lephalale municipal council.

Doing it his way

It is alleged on the day of Mokgehle’s swearing in, he had, instead, opted to wear a mayoral chain belonging to the Bela Bela local municipality in the Waterberg region.

On 18 May, exactly two days later, he allegedly ordered municipal manager Maria Cocquyt to change the composition of the bid evaluation and adjudication committees of the municipality within the supply chain management division. The supply chain management’s day-to-day operations included regulating municipal spending by ensuring there was value for money on each spending.

But, according to an aggrieved municipal official, that was just the beginning of Mokgehle’s alleged reign of terror. Mokgehle had allegedly also refused to use a mayoral vehicle, citing safety. Instead, he used a white Porsche SUV, belonging to an Eskom service provider from Daveyton on the East Rand.

NOW READ: Limpopo ANC: Officials could be charged for not implementing Motlanthe’s orders

Speaker of council Grace Morakalala confirmed to The Citizen yesterday that Mokgehle was using a private vehicle for his municipal trips, instead of the one provided by the municipality. “This is because the mayoral car provided to him is still being assessed [to see] if it is in good condition at the garage. “We wanted the car to be ready and fit to transport the mayor as and when he executes his daily duties of turning this municipality around,” said Morakalala.

“He is the one footing the bill for the car and not the municipality. He is also the one footing the bill for the private security personnel as and when he navigates communities, executing his obligations as a mayor.”

The Citizen understands Limpopo ANC provincial secretary Reuben Madadzhe had allegedly asked Mokgehle during the party’s Lekgotla last weekend, how he planned to explain to communities how he managed to bankroll his lavish lifestyle. Earlier this year, Limpopo police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Motlafela Mojapelo confirmed Mokgehle was facing a charge of intimidation, which was laid in 2019. “The charge was withdrawn but reinstated later this year.

The mayor served

”Mojapelo said at the time Mokgehle had been served with court papers and summoned to answer for the charge in court. Asked about the charges of intimidation, Mokgehle responded: “This is news to me.” But he ultimately hung up the phone when asked further questions about his demand for the configuration of management at the supply chain management. but reinstated later this year.

The ANC in Limpopo was also worried about the allegations. “We have liaised with the mayor and the following is our response: Unfortunately, the mayor is not at liberty to discuss security matters in public for security reasons,” Jimmy Macha- ka, spokesperson for the Limpopo ANC provincial executive committee, said yesterday. “The mayor used the municipal chain during inauguration.”

ALSO READ: To Rome or roam: Why is Putin such a headache for SA?