DA, EFF court Tlokwe ex-councillors

Political parties are campaigning to win wards such as Ikageng township in Tlokwe. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

Political parties are campaigning to win wards such as Ikageng township in Tlokwe. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

It has also sparked a battle for  control of the municipality by different political parties that include the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Julius Malema's Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

Now under the leadership of the DA, following a no-confidence vote in the ANC's mayor Maphetle Maphetle, Tlokwe has become a sought-after municipality in the province.

The ANC has approached the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, seeking to nullify the July 3 Tlokwe council meeting, which the party argues was illegally convened.

In that meeting, some ANC councillors voted to elect the DA's Annette Combrink as Tlokwe mayor, booting Maphetle out for the second time in seven months. Corruption allegations were behind the move against Maphetle.

Tlokwe is likely to see alliances of convenience against the ANC as newer parties scramble to get their foot in the door.

On Friday, the EFF might find itself alongside the DA in an anti-corruption march to the municipality offices.

EFF's North West co-ordinator, Keobakile "Papiki" Babuile, told the Mail & Guardian that Malema will lead the march. Though not a consciously arranged plan by the two parties, they both claim they've been invited by the community to take part in the march.

Expelled councillors
"We're definitely not aware about EFF's involvement in the march," said DA North West leader Chris Hattingh.
He acknowledged that the DA would face more players than just the ANC in the battle for control of Tlokwe.

"We suddenly realise that when this thing unfolds some parties are starting to come up and want to play a role in the municipality about issues they don't know."

It was clear this week when the M&G spoke in expelled councillors that some are still undecided about their next move, although the DA, the EFF and SA First have expressed interest of working with them to unseat the ANC.

David Kham, expelled as Tlokwe chief whip, said: "We no longer want to be members of their party [the ANC]."

Kham denied that expelled councillors were working with either the DA or the EFF to contest by-elections, which are likely to be held in the middle of September.

Another fired councillor, Margaret Seloane, supported Kham's position.

"We love the ANC, but the way they treated us when we're trying to expose corruption is unfair."

Expelled councillors
Another expelled councillor, Evelyn Moloi, however, said she's going to appeal her expulsion: "I love the ANC. I'd rather sit back and not join another party. I didn't vote for Combrink because I couldn't allow a DA member to take an ANC seat. But even if we wanted to contest them, we were not going to win."

The EFF appears to be making inroads in Tlokwe. The party has met several times with some of the 14 expelled councillors and Babuile said the party has lured a number of them into their fold.

"These are the comrades we've been working with in the ANC. The same issues they're raising are what we've been raising for some time," said Babuile. "It's much easier for them to work with us because they know us."

Babuile is the former ANC Youth League provincial chairperson who was suspended from the party after being charged for alleged involvement in the murder of ANC North West official Obuti Chika.

The DA is scheduled to file court papers on Friday to oppose the ANC's application to nullify the council meeting that removed Maphetle.

Mmanaledi Mataboge

Mmanaledi Mataboge

Mmanaledi Mataboge is the Mail & Guardian's political editor. Raised in a rural village, she later studied journalism in a township where she fell in love with the medium of radio. This former radio presenter and producer previously worked as a senior politics reporter for the Mail & Guardian, and writes on politics, government, and anything that gives the disadvantaged, poor, and the oppressed a voice. Read more from Mmanaledi Mataboge

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