/ 17 July 2013

Ramaphosa, Duarte head to Tlokwe to douse ANC fires

Cyril Ramaphosa said he is willing to make a contribution to some of the relevant issues in the Marikana commission.
Cyril Ramaphosa said he is willing to make a contribution to some of the relevant issues in the Marikana commission.

ANC spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi said on Wednesday that the ruling party's deputy president Ramaphosa and deputy secretary general Duarte would also meet party structures.

The two would report back to the rest of the party's top officials after the meeting.

This follows the unseating, for a second time, of Tlokwe mayor Maphetle Maphetle earlier this month.

ANC councillors voted with the Democratic Alliance to unseat Maphetle.

On July 2, DA councillor Annette Combrink was voted in as the new mayor for the second time since November; again unseating Maphetle.

The next day, the North West ANC's provincial disciplinary committee expelled 14 of its councillors who voted him out.

The provincial working committee has in the meantime appointed six new proportional representation councillors for the municipality. By-elections will be held soon to elect new ward councillors.

ANC vacate Tlokwe offices
However, the ANC is adamant that Maphetle remains Tlokwe mayor because it claims the council meeting, where he was unseated, was unlawful.

The party has applied to the North Gauteng High Court for it to declare the meeting illegal.

The DAe on Wednesday called on Ramaphosa to ensure that the ANC vacated the Tlokwe municipal offices after his visit.

"The ANC's occupation of the municipal offices is in direct opposition to calls from residents and the no-confidence motion against their former mayor," North West leader Chris Hattingh said in a statement.

"It is unacceptable that the ANC is prepared to go to court to protect Mr Maphetle against forensic audit findings of corruption, while important delivery projects, such as dealing with dangerous housing conditions due to unsafe dolomitic rocks, need to be delayed."

While the DA was in charge last year, it requested a forensic investigation into irregularities at the municipality. The probe found that the council had irregularly bought Maphetle a R736 000-customised Mercedes-Benz. Maphetle also allegedly abused the disaster management fund and poverty relief fund.

The report recommended that formal disciplinary action be taken against him and other officials.

In May, the DA laid criminal charges against Maphetle. In June, public protector Thuli Madonsela said she would investigate the claims of corruption involving Maphetle. – Sapa