ANC sacks six councilors for ‘handing over’ Mpumalanga municipality to independents

Mayor Vusi Motha. Picture: Facebook


The ANC in Mpumalanga has sacked six councilors who are accused of handing over the reins of the local municipality of Mkhondo to Piet Retief from independents and opposition parties.

The mutinous councilors were removed from their posts earlier this year, but appealed the decision of the provincial disciplinary committee.

However, their appeal was rejected, the provincial executive committee (PEC) announced.

Former Mkhondo mayor Vusi Motha and five councilors – Mhlaliseni Yende, Bongani Mchunu, Fikile Mthethwa, Thembelihle Gama and Sikhumbuzo Zulu – resigned after local elections on November 1, 2021 in protest at what they saw as the “factional” appointment ” counselors.

READ: Mutiny advisers fail to win over Nkomazi neighborhoods in Mpumalanga

They withdrew their resignation, but when it came to voting to elect a mayor, president and chief whip, they would have used their conscience.

The result of the vote was that the new mayor was independent candidate Mthokozisi Simelane, the new council chairman was Mduduzi Dlamini from the African Transformation Movement and the chief whip was Siphesihle Mkhwanazi from the EFF.

It was a historic moment as the ANC lost power over the municipality for the first time since democracy. The ANC obtained an absolute majority of 54.04% after the elections, but this was not enough to give it automatic leadership. This is a massive drop from 76.41% in 2016.

Mpumalanga ANC spokesman Ngelosi Ndlovu said:

The PEC, having noted all transgressions, acts of misconduct, extreme levels of indiscipline and lack of respect for the constitutional values ​​of the ANC, and their intentional acts aimed at discrediting the ANC by blatantly working for and with the opposition, welcomed the verdict to expel the six ANC councilors and represent the ANC in the local municipality of Mkhondo with immediate effect.

“We call on our members and our leaders to emulate good examples of conduct wherever they are and to respect the communities that have given us the opportunity to lead and represent them. We must work for our communities with humility, dignity, respect, selflessness, commitment and dedication. We must jealously guard the interests of the people who voted for us.

Councilors felt that ANC officials were discriminating against comrades who did not belong to the Focus faction.

They feared that then acting president Mandla Ndlovu and acting secretary Lindiwe Ntshalintshali would advance Focus’s agenda. Mandla was finally elected provincial president of the ANC in April this year at the provincial conference.

READ: Mandla Ndlovu consolidates power in Mpumalanga after clean sweep

The ANC faced mutineers from its own ranks in other municipalities, such as Nkomazi (Malalane) and Msukaligwa (Ermelo).

In Nkomazi, disgruntled councilors voted for former mayor Johan Mkhatshwa against the ANC’s national executive committee’s decision to have another mayor. Mkhatshwa clung to the mayoralty for eight months until he was removed from office and also sacked from the ANC along with five councilors who teamed up with the EFF to elect him.

READ: ANC needs three votes to retake Nkomazi town hall from mutineer Johan Mkhatshwa

In Msukaligwa, a mayor, chairman and chief whip have been appointed on a temporary basis due to a name mix-up at the South African Electoral Commission. When they had to leave, they refused and claimed they were being targeted for uncovering the corruption.

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