Factions within TRA destabilise leadership in Thabazimbi Municipality

Signpost for Thabazimbi Municipality offices
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Political instability that comes with municipal coalition governance is taking its toll in the Thabazimbi Local Municipality in Limpopo. Two factions of the Thabazimbi Residents Association (TRA) are at loggerheads over three seats in the council of the municipality.

Three TRA councillors did not receive their salaries last month as a result of the political squabbles where the main political parties the African National Congress (ANC) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) have also battled it out over control of Thabazimbi.

Formed in 2016, the TRA is split between the one faction led by former mayor, Michael John Fischer, which supports a DA coalition while the other faction is led by Richard Kotsedi and supports an ANC coalition.

The tussle between the DA coalition and the ANC coalition as to which group has legitimate claim to run Thabazimbi is currently at the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA). The ANC took the matter for appeal after the Polokwane High Court ruled against it on the matter.

Muxe Mabunda, who represents a faction which demands removal of three TRA councillors had this to say, “Welcome the decision by the municipality to cut the salaries of Richard, Sekgobela, Stokie because we have long expelled them from our organisation. So, we therefore decided to write the letter to the municipality to cut off their salaries.”

TRA councillor, Selaelo Sekgobela, says the legitimate leadership of the party, which is also recognised by the IEC, is led by Richard Kotsedi. He says Muxe Mabunda who claims to be the organisation’s deputy president was expelled a long time ago.

“The legitimacy of leadership of Thabazimbi Residents Association Muxe Mabunda is no longer a member, he has been expelled from the organisation together with his factions led by John Michael Fischer. The leadership of Thabazimbi Residents Association is led by President Richard Kotsedi they mustn’t mislead (people).”

TRA has three representatives in the hung council.

During the November 2021 local government elections, the ANC gained 11 seats while the DA, EFF, TRA, FFPlus and TFSD won a combined 12 seats.