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By Eric Naki

Political Editor


North West ANC cleans house: Mayor axed, CFO suspended, councillor expelled

Provincial committee acts on corruption allegations, removing key officials involved in malfeasance.


The ANC in the North West is showing it has the backbone and is prepared to walk the talk; it fired a mayor who admitted to involvement in graft, suspended a chief financial officer for committing malfeasance, and expelled a councillor who is facing a series of rape charges that also involve minors.

It is understood that the party provincial executive committee (PEC) acted on media reports and evidence it received about the municipal leaderships known as Troika that were involved in instances of corruption at Matlosana municipality in Klerksdorp. 

After investigating the matter, the provincial leadership established that there were answerable cases on the matter and acted on the allegations by including dismissing the ANC mayor, James Tsolela. 

Mayor forced to resign

Tsolela was forced to resign after he admitted to wrongdoing.

Also, the municipal CFO, Mercy Phetla, was suspended after it was established that she was suspected of malfeasance of a serious nature. She was suspended pending a probe into the matter.

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In an apparent victory for electoral democracy, a parachuted ward councillor in Matlosana local municipality who was installed illegally by factional top politicians will be removed and replaced with a legitimate community-chosen candidate who was sidelined during the nomination for the 2021 local government elections. 

The voters had been fighting for their nominee to be reinstated, and the ANC had been resisting since 2021.

The sideline councillor for Ward 1 in Matlosana, Pakiso Mqikela, would be reinstated in the position he lost, while incumbent Anna Bonga was told to resign on Friday to make way for Mqikela. 

By-election would be held

A by-election would be held, and the ANC was confident of winning the ward again due to Mqikela’s popularity with the voters and community members, who had been demanding his reinstatement.

The decision to remove Bonga, as recommended by a probe chaired by ANC NEC member Dina Pule, was in line with the Motlanthe Electoral Committee report that all the parachuted councillors should be removed and those chosen by the community be removed. 

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A similar situation was expected to happen in Ward 18 at Moses Kotane local municipality, where a ward councillor would be kicked out and a legitimate one reinstated. 

A by-election would be held, but the ruling party was confident of retaining the seat as this was its stronghold ward.

The problem of parachuted councillors was widespread in the North West, and a lot more parachutes were yet to be removed. 

The court found the ANC to have acted unlawfully to field candidates who were not properly nominated by the people instead of taking those chosen by the electorate, including Ward 18 in Moses Kotane.

ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula informed

It is understood that the PEC informed the ANC secretary-general, Fikile Mbalula, about the development.

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An ANC councillor for Ward 25 in Motlasana Local Municipality, Tebogo Sepale, who is on trial on charges of rape, has been expelled from the party, and his salary was earlier stopped by the local council after his arrest for the alleged offence. 

He had been in jail for the last nine months, and a by-election would be held in the ward to replace him.

In Kagisano Molopo local municipality, the ANC has decided to dismiss Ward 12 councillor, Gloria Ogaseng, who is allegedly disengaged with his constituency and unpopular with the community, not cooperating with stakeholders, including the traditional leader and local ANC branch leadership. 

The party forced Ogaseng to resign, saying she did not serve the interests of the community as there was no relationship between her and the community and she undermined public participation processes.

Whether these were part of electioneering is not clear, but the provincial executive committee appeared to be implementing the Motlanthe Election Committee report that recommended that all parachuted councillors must be fired and legitimate ones reinstated. 

ALSO READ: EFF successfully boots ANC’s Matlosana mayor

Politically connected people illegally sneaked into nomination lists

The problem was caused by some politically connected individuals being illegally secretly sneaked onto ANC party nomination lists during the 2021 local government election by some unnamed senior politicians.

In another development, the mayor of Bojanala Matlakala Nondzaba would be replaced after she was suspended pending a probe into her alleged failure on her executive oversight duty pertaining to graft in the district municipality. 

The Bojanala ANC leadership has been asked to forward three names from which to choose a candidate mayor to replace Nondzaba.