The Emfuleni Local Municipality speaker, Maipato Tsokolibane has apologised after a recording circulated on social media in which she is heard insulting her colleagues and bragging about her R30,000 shoes and her wealth.
This comes after the case of 33 municipal officials who had been implicated in a massive looting spree. It is alleged that Tsokolibane was having the conversation with Emfuleni’s chief whip, Christina Sale.
In the audio clip, speaking in SeSotho, Tsokolibane said: “I want those ones who are busy saying granny to me. Where are their mothers? They must call their mothers to come and lead with us here, so that we can see what their mothers can do. These thieves and primary school dropouts.”
According to City Press, Tsokolibane’s colleagues are calling for her removal after her comments.
“I am not a dropout… I went to school and I worked for 35 years. I have my own money, and I am not a beggar of R30,000, and they think I am a beggar.
“I worked and I was a principal for 35 years, and I worked at the municipality for 20 years, and I have money.
“Chief whip, my shoes cost R30,000; even the houses I have bought, I did not buy them with stolen money from Emfuleni or Sedibeng. Wherever I worked and whatever I have acquired is through my sweat, and nobody is going to tell me about R30,000.
“I buried my son with R200,000 and I filled up Sharpeville stadium. I did not even ask for a single cent from the municipality, and it’s even worse that they didn’t even donate a flower.
“All these rubbish people who think we are at their mercy will leave the municipality. These things that do not qualify, this municipality is collapsing because of these rubbish people.
“Saying gogo, their mothers are stupid grannies basking in the sun in the township, wrapping themselves with shawls. Damn these rubbish people, they are full of themselves, these things.”
The municipality’s spokesperson, Stanley Gaba, has since issued a statement in which Tsokolibane apologised over her involvement in “an unfortunate audio recording currently circulating on social media”.
Gaba said that in the recording, Tsokolibane was participating in a robust and heated debate with fellow councillors of the municipality over allegations of corruption.
“The altercation was about the speaker’s insistence for the recommendations of the forensic report by Comperio Consulting into allegations of corruption in the municipality to be implemented.
“The incident is highly regrettable, and the speaker profusely apologises for the unfortunate sentiments shared in her outburst,” said Gaba.
In the statement, Tsokolibane is quoted as saying that she had always been professional as the speaker of the council.
“I hold myself to moral and ethical leadership, and it is in this spirit that I apologise unreservedly for my role in the audio clips currently circulating on digital platforms.
“I am a political head of the legislative arm of council and preside over Council meetings ensuring compliance with the councillor’s code of conduct and rules and orders. I apologise to all residents of the municipality for my conduct,” said Tsokolibane.
The matter is currently being investigated by the African National Congress (ANC), according to Tsokolibane.
This article first appeared on Sedibeng Ster and was republished with permission.