Mogalakwena Municipality to have its sixth mayor in less than 10 years

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The African National Congress (ANC) provincial leadership in Limpopo says it will formally inform the Waterberg Regional Executive Committee about the decision to sack Mayor Andrina Matsemela.

Matsemela, the political management team, and the executive council members were axed by the party’s provincial leadership last Friday.

The beleaguered Mogalakwena Local Municipality will have its sixth mayor in less than 10 years, following the recent sacking of Andrina Matsemela.

In 2012, Esther Mothibi tendered her resignation. Thlelefi Mashamaite was then appointed and two years later he was voted out as the mayor after being implicated in a forensic report for allegedly misusing R1 million budgeted to the mayor’s office.

Malose Mabuela was then appointed mayor, but was removed within a year.

Mashamaite was then reinstated. He was again axed within six months just before 2016 local government elections to make way for Parks Sebatjane.

Sebatjane was removed as mayor after the election and Andrina Matsemela was then appointed.

ANC Waterberg Spokesperson, Matome Moremi-Taueatsoala, says the process of identifying the next mayor has not yet started.

“We have not yet identified the mayor. The decision by the PEC was taken on Friday afternoon and then we are yet to be formally informed by the PEC (Provincial Executive Committee) how should we go about dealing with the issue of replacement. We will make a determination when can we start with the process of putting up the new PMT (Political Management Teams).”

Political infighting

There has been political infighting amongst ANC Councillors in the Mogalakwena Municipality since 2010. Some municipal workers have criticised the ANC for recalling Matsemela instead of dissolving the council.

Percy Nketsi says political instability is causing factions amongst workers.

“The problem in Mogalakwena Municipality is not an individual problem. There are a number of controversial names. They are now saying we must recall Andriana alone and keep those people and the officials will forever enjoy rivalry among themselves. We are saying they must dissolve the council.”

DA calls for municipality to be placed under administration

DA provincial leader Jacques Smalle says the removal of the mayor is not a solution as the municipality needs to be placed under administration, which requires the provincial executive to dissolve the council.

“The Democratic Alliance is calling for section 139 1 c to be implemented that would lead to the total dissolvement of the council and put the Mogalakwena best interest in the hands of the administrator.”

Mpho Leshiba, who represents Mogalakwena Residents’ Association in the council, says they have been waiting for the removal of the mayor for a long time.

“What we are saying is that this decision is long-standing that the PMT and the executive committee must leave. We are happy that they have been removed from the executive position.”

Political Analyst Levy Ndou says the ANC is trying to manage factions ahead of next year’s local government election.

“I think what the ANC is trying to do is to try and attract trust amongst ordinary people. The performance of the ANC wasn’t very good in the previous local government election. They want to use this as a strategy to manage factions.”

Conflict amongst ANC Councillors led to a brawl last year when they physically removed each other from the council chamber.

For more on this, here is a special focus on Mogalakwena Municipality with Leihlo La Sechaba: