Suspend murder-accused mayor, says DA

The mayor of Bushbuckridge, Milton Morema, should be suspended, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Tuesday. Morema is currently facing murder charges.

DA local government spokesperson Anthony Benadie said the mayor should be suspended immediately, pending the outcome of investigations.

It is alleged that Morema hired a hit man to kill a political rival, Motion Mashile, in 2003.

Morema and his alleged accomplices appeared in the Bushbuckridge Magistrate’s Court last Tuesday and were released on R10 000 bail each.

Benadie said the mayor should not be allowed to carry out any of his duties, considering the charges against him.

“It would be a disgrace if the African National Congress or its alliance partners allowed councillor Morema to represent them at official events or functions,” Benadie said.

He said the ANC should distance itself from Morema and suspend him, and not show solidarity with criminals.

Benadie also said that the political leadership at local government level is “chaotic”.
The mayors of Govan Mbeki and Bushbuckridge municipalities are facing murder charges, while the Mbombela and Emalahleni mayors have been suspended.

He said the ANC should stop appointing mayors on the basis of political affiliations.

A spokesperson for the Bushbuckridge council, Renias Khumalo, said the South African Constitution stipulates that everyone is innocent until proven guilty—therefore Morema has the right to still be in office. He said the council has, however, noted the seriousness of the allegations.—Sapa

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