The African National Congress (ANC) regional task team (RTT) in the eastern Free State is demanding the axing of Dihlabeng executive mayor. The party also wants disciplinary action to be taken against those deployed in council but voted with the opposition to replace the late council speaker. The ANC speaker was replaced by a DA candidate.

ANC councillors voted with the opposition to replace the late council speaker. The ANC has the majority in the council.

ANC Regional Task Team Deputy convener, Tumelo Thebe says the councillors have defied ANC constitution by voting with the opposition.

“All the councillors of the ANC who participated in support of the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) to hold the position of speaker in Dihlabeng that they must face disciplinary action and we further took a decision that recommended all PR councillors that also participated be removed immediately that also should take place to the executive mayor of the municipality to be removed with immediate effect.”

The Executive Mayor of Dihlabeng Municipality Lindiwe Makhalema says she is not aware that the task team wants her recalled.

“Not anything that I know. I still have a good relationship. Not, as far as I know. Remember, I am part of the council. When the council will know. Opposition parties have also weighed in. They have accused police unit Hawks of failing in their duties to arrest corrupt officials in the Dihlabeng Municipality despite having evidence.”

DA Secretary in the Dihlabeng Municipality, Hilton Maasdorp, says, “DA is adamant on matter on corruption. Any person, official or employee, guilty of misconduct justice has to be served. It’s plain and simple. The law should take its course. We are clear about that.”

Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) leader in the same municipality, says, Mapaseka Motaung, says, “We have written a letter to our leaders of EFF complaining about the Hawks. There has been many arrest in Dihlabeng Municipality, but we are not seeing any progress about cases of the Hawks. So, (we) want to see Hawks taking action against those implicated of corruption happening here in Dihlabeng.”

Meanwhile, residents of Bethlehem say the municipality has failed them when it comes to service delivery.

Three years ago, the ANC expelled 16 councillors in the Maluti-A-Phofung Municipality after they voted with the opposition to remove then Executive Mayor Vusi Tshabalala.

In August, ANC councillors have also voted with the opposition to remove Mangaung Metro Executive Mayor Olly Mlamleli.