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By Getrude Makhafola

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Mayor’s suspension without a hearing ‘grossly harsh’, says SACP

The SACP is adamant that Tseletsele's suspension has already shaped the outcome of his disciplinary proceedings.

The SA Communist Party (SACP) in the Free State has criticised the ANC for the immediate suspension of Kopanong Municipality mayor Xolani Tseletsele, saying he should first be heard.

Tseletsele is in hot water after he was caught on video threatening a Jagersfontein resident at his private residence.

The video shows Kalebe Kalebe in his yard with his children and Tseletsele storming his home and insulting him.

ALSO READ: ANC suspends Free State mayor who swore at resident

Tseletsele was angry at Kalebe after he complained about potholes in Jagesrfontein on the social media platform Facebook.

On Tuesday, ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula announced Tseletsele’s suspension.

‘Judgment without a hearing’

However, the SACP on Wednesday said it disagreed with the “passing of judgment and sanction” without a hearing.

“The SACP in no way condones the altercation.

“However, in the interest of fairness and consistency, we urge that the matter be handled through an organisational process with restraint, based on facts and truths and with an intention to be corrective, than punitive.

“We are of the view that an immediate recall and suspension of membership as a first reaction and without first granting a hearing is rather grossly harsh, pre-emptive and conditions the outcome of a hearing,” provincial secretary Bhekie Stofile said in a statement.

He added his organisation will seek a meeting with ANC “to offer targeted corrective measures” on the matter.

‘Uncultured behaviour’

The incident, reported by The Citizen on Monday, has drawn widespread condemnation,

This forced the governing party to spring into action in lieu of what’s at stake ahead of the crucial 2024 elections.

READ MORE: WATCH: ‘I’ll show you flames’ – Mayor swears at resident over Facebook post about potholes

In a no-holds-barred briefing on Tuesday, Mbalula said the days of “asinavalo“, translation “we fear no one”, are over.

“We know what arrogance has done to the brand and image of the ANC over the years. Gone are the days of asinavalo.

“In addressing the misconduct and uncultured behaviour of mayor Tseletsele, rule 25.56 of the constitution provides that the ANC may at any stage prior to commencement of proceedings, summarily suspend membership of the member.

“The ANC has therefore taken a strong stance on the mayor who insulted community members, and must therefore be immediately suspended.”

Tseletsele leaves Facebook

The suspended mayor has since deleted his Facebook account.

Prior to deactivation, he wrote that he apologised to Kalebe and will confront the “political fight back” should it come.

He added that it was not like he “raped or murdered anyone, or stole monies”.

Speaking to the SABC on Monday, he said Kalebe insulted him on Facebook, prompting him to go and confront him.

“I didn’t confront him physically, but we spoke about the issue. We both went to the police station, resolved the matter and made peace.

“I further apologise for confronting him in front of his family, who might have felt threatened,” he said.

Kalebe denied that he insulted Tseletsele on the social media platform.

He confirmed that he went to the police station with Tseletsele and withdrew the case after they reconciled.

“I did that because I could see that the police were not willing to arrest him, some of them are his friends.

“I agreed to go with him because I really want him to change and be a better person,” he said.

Tseletsele is also the provincial chairperson of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL).

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