News / South Africa / Politics

Alex Japho Matlala
2 minute read
1 Aug 2019
6:25 am

Limpopo mayor fears for her life after threats, killings

Alex Japho Matlala

The mayor has turned to the police for protection after a video in which her political detractors allegedly called for her downfall surfaced.

Limpopo's Mogalakwena Municipality Mayor Andrina Matsemela. Picture: Letaba Herald.

Mayor of the troubled Mogalakwena Municipality in Limpopo, Andrina Matsemela, is living in fear following the assassination of two ANC bigwigs in the municipality last week and alleged threats against her own life.

The mayor has turned to the police for protection after a video in which her political detractors allegedly called for her downfall surfaced.

The video shows several ANC and Cosatu members hatching a plot to oust her as mayor. It was circulated in Limpopo this week.

In it, she is accused of masterminding the assassinations of municipal public accounts committee chairperson Valtyn Kekana and ANC branch leader and councillor Ralph Kanyane. They were sprayed with bullets in a brazen attack on their car in Mokopane on Tuesday last week.

The attack happened hours after they were allegedly denied access to a forensic investigation report that revealed large-scale corruption in the supply chain management of the municipality, which showed wasteful expenditure amounting to R1.1 billion.

In the video, a union leader who doubles up as Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union shop steward at a police station in Mokopane, singled out Matsemela as being responsible for Kekana and Kanyane’s killing.

He is seen in the video pleading with mourners to bring the town to a standstill tomorrow.

The same person is further seen pleading with ANC leaders in the municipality to dissolve the council and appoint a new one soon after the weekend funeral.

Yesterday, Matsemela said she was worried she could be attacked, in light of the video.

“I fear for my life. As you are speaking to me now, I am driving to the police station to report the matter because I think I am no longer safe,” she said.

The video has not only angered Matsemela, the ANC regional leadership in Waterbury was also perturbed.

ANC regional secretary Jacob Moabelo said the party noted with shock the video circulating on social media.

He said the ANC was concerned that the officer involved “abused his status as an officer of the law, though he was speaking on behalf of Cosatu”.

He continued: “His utterances not only stir confusion to the community but also cast aspersions about the first citizen of Mogalakwena municipality … [Matsemela] and ANC provincial chairperson and premier Chupu Mathabatha, among others.

“We regard the allegations as extremely serious and divisive.

“We hold a view that the officer’s utterances have the potential to jeopardise the impartiality of the investigations, notwithstanding the negative political implications the allegations possess,” he said.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.