/ 17 September 2020

More North West mayors face recall

Former Ethekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede Back In Court On Alleged Corruption Charge
Wilful: Former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede, who appeared in the Durban commercial crimes court on charges of corruption, and her supporters defied ANC resolutions. (Darren Stewart/Gallo Images)

The leaders of another six North West municipalities are to be recalled in coming weeks as the ANC moves to clean its house of corruption and misgovernance ahead of next year’s local government election.

The mayor, speaker and chief whip of the Madibeng and Tswaing local municipalities are likely to be the first to face the axe in the wake of the removal of the ANC top three in the Mahikeng, Ditsobotla, Maquassi Hills and Matlosana local municipalities last Friday. 

The ANC provincial interim committee also recalled the mayor, speaker and chief whip of the Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati district municipality.

Hlomane Chauke, the ANC provincial convener, told a media briefing that the committee had identified 11 municipalities where the breakdown in governance required a change in leadership. Discussions were underway for the recall of another six mayors, including those of Madibeng and Tswaing, both of which were dysfunctional, in the second phase of the provinces interventions.

Chauke said the recall of the councillors was “just the beginning of the ANC … interventions in municipalities where there are problems”.

Chauke denied claims by supporters of the former premier and ANC North West chairperson, Supra Mahumapelo, that the recall was part of a purge of his supporters, who controlled the municipalities.

By Thursday, several North West mayors had not resigned from office.

ANC North West spokesperson Kenny Morolong confirmed this, saying the interim provincial committee would decide on what action to take by the end of the day.

The ANC in the province is also set to act on councillors, MPLs and MECs who are facing corruption and other criminal charges in line with the decision by the party’s national executive committee (NEC) to force leaders accused of crimes to step aside from their state and party jobs.

But the list submitted by Chauke to the Luthuli House has been challenged by aggrieved ANC members in the province, who submitted an alternative list, naming 16 leaders and the crimes they have been charged with, to the office of secretary general Ace Magashule.

In Gauteng, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Khusela Diko, health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku and his wife, Loyiso, who is an MMC in the Johannesburg metro, have been called before the ANC’s integrity commission over a R125-million personal protective equipment tender awarded by the Gauteng health department to Diko’s husband, Thandisizwe.

The party’s provincial executive committee (PEC) is set to discuss the integrity commission’s report this weekend, with insiders saying that Khusela Diko and Bandile Masuku are unlikely to survive the meeting.

A source in the Gauteng ANC said Loyiso Masuku had escaped sanction.

“There’s a big problem in that the PEC report is not favouring Bandile. There are issues for Khusela over ethics as her husband was a direct beneficiary. With Loyiso, there is nothing. They are intent on holding Bandile accountable over his lack of reaction, but he’s contesting this,” the source. “It looks like the two won’t survive the PEC.”

ANC Gauteng spokesperson Bones Modise said this week that the process had not been concluded and would be discussed by the PEC on Sunday.

In KwaZulu-Natal, the ANC provincial leadership this week said they would take action against supporters of corruption accused ANC MPL Zandile Gumede who defied the party and protested at the Durban magistrate’s court last Thursday.

The party leadership also plans to “engage with” Gumede about her failure to call them to order when she addressed her supporters outside the courthouse after her appearance on corruption charges related to a R400-million waste removal tender when she was the mayor of eThekwini metro. Gumede is out on bail of R50 000 and will appear again along with her co-accused on December 10.

Party leaders from across the province’s regions who are charged with corruption and other crimes, have been asked to stand aside. The charges range from corruption and stock theft to rape and murder.

On Tuesday, ANC KwaZulu-Natal provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli told a media briefing in Durban that thus far the party’s regional structures had identified 10 or 11 leaders, mainly councillors, who face criminal charges.

But this list was incomplete and was being revised before a final list was submitted to the integrity commission. 

Ntuli said the commission would hear the cases by mid-October and would recommend what action to take against each person. 

He added that the ANC leadership was “very disappointed” by Gumede’s and her supporters actions at the courthouse, in defiance of the party, the NEC’s decision and the resolutions of the 2017 national conference. They had not only attended court without the permission of the ANC but “went further and carried placards which were extremely offensive and divisive”, Ntuli said.

Gumede had failed to “disown” their actions. 

“We cannot allow a situation where there must be people who have a licence to undermine the authority of the ANC and go further and act in a way that attempts to sow divisions in the ANC,” he said.