After a year without a permanent mayor, the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality in the Free State is expected to elect a new mayor and council speaker on Monday.
The Bloemfontein-based metro has been beset by service delivery challenges since the removal of corruption-accused former mayor, Olly Mlamleli, who was booted out in August last year through a motion of no confidence that was supported by ANC councillors.
The ANC’s interim provincial committee (IPC) last week nominated former council speaker, Mxolisi Siyonzana, as its mayoral candidate.
Siyonzana is a known ally of suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule.
He was picked as the ANC’s nominee after a selection process that involved officials of the party’s national executive committee (NEC) and its regional task team in Mangaung.
Siyonzana’s nomination ‘contemptuous’
Last week, the Democratic Alliance (DA) slammed the ANC’s nomination of Siyonzana, saying his recent resignation as speaker ahead of the council seating was an attempt to evade accountability.
The party accused Siyonzana of playing a central role in not dealing with officials implicated corruption and mismanagement at the municipality.
“The DA believes that it is very contemptuous towards the residents of Mangaung in the light of a DA motion of no confidence in the speaker for his role in protecting instigators of mismanagement.
“The most prominent is his protégé, the ex-municipal manager, who was forced to resign after a watertight complaint by the DA that led to disciplinary procedures against him. It is clear that the resigned speaker for a very long time protected the resigned municipal manager, and now follows the footsteps of his protégés to evade accountability,” said DA Mangaung caucus leader, Hardie Viviers, in a statement.
Viviers said it was well-known that Siyonzana “honours his own interests” and his nomination by the ANC would further support the project of state capture that allegedly started under Magashule’s tenure as the premier of the Free State.
By giving one of the central figures that enabled the unbridled capture and collapse of Mangaung, the position of new mayor. More of the same is sure to come.
“The announcement by the so called ‘cleansed’ ANC interim leadership in the Free State that councillor Siyonzana has been chosen as their mayoral candidate, just clearly illustrates again that they do not have the ability to make a clear break from the Ace Magashule faction and support the Ramaphosa faction within the ANC,” Viviers said.
He added that the DA would keep on fighting for the rights of Mangaung residents and to keep politicians and officials of the ANC in the metro accountable.
Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe