News / South Africa / Politics

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

Duarte to visit Limpopo over political killings, infighting

Alex Japho Matlala

Two councillors were assassinated in broad daylight in Mokopane's central business district last month, which led to violent protests.

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte. Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi / African News Agency (ANA)

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte may need the wisdom of King Solomon during her two-day visit to the embattled and violence-torn Mogalakwena municipality in Limpopo this weekend.

Duarte is due there today and tomorrow to provide leadership and a long-lasting solution to the protracted political infighting and killings in the province.

ANC Limpopo deputy provincial secretary Basikopo Makamu said Duarte would meet the ANC municipality’s political management team (PMT), which includes mayor Andrina Matsemela, the speaker and chief whip. He said Duarte would be told about the problems that continue to bring the municipality into disrepute.

Two councillors were assassinated in broad daylight in Mokopane’s central business district last month.

Following that, angry residents took to the streets, forcing a shutdown that resulted in pupils staying away from school for almost two weeks, roads being blocked and workers failing to report for duty.

The residents demanded the municipality be closed, council be dissolved and for the police to arrest those responsible for killing ANC branch secretary Ralph Kanyane and councillor Valtyn Kekana.

They also want the municipality to explain its dismal performance in recent audits. It was second-last of the country’s 257 municipalities having incurred R1.1 billion of wasteful expenditure in the 2017-18 financial year.

Duarte will meet the regional executive committee (REC) to discuss strengthening ANC branches and the political infighting in the Waterberg region. She will work with the leadership to chart a way forward.

“At the core is that the [national executive committee], the [provincial executive committee], the REC and the PMT are striving for a common goal. They all want peace to reign in Waterberg and service to continue going to the people,” said Makamu.

“Duarte’s visit is a sign that the NEC is prepared to see all comrades speaking from the same page. We believe after this visit, we will speak with one voice,” said a senior politician who wished to remain anonymous.

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