Claims made by the EFF that a Tshwane councillor was abusing council resources were proved to be nothing more than hogwash.
The EFF had charged that Betty Ringane was abusing council resources by allowing her son to run a carwash service from her offices at Brazzaville in Atteridgeville, west of Pretoria.
EFF branch 107 chairperson Mahlomola Ledwaba claimed that Ringane was allowing her son to use water and electricity without paying for it, and that she employed her friends.
He further accused Ringane of being rude, saying she had also failed to act after they reported a leaking water tank to her. However, Ringane’s son is a drug addict and in custody for the possession of drugs.
“Police caught him twice with dagga in his possession and the second time he was caught, the magistrate sent him straight to jail,” Ringane said.
The Citizen went to investigate whether she was abusing state resources. Instead of a carwash, we found a vegetable garden – to help feed those with HIV and Aids, the elderly and schoolchildren – which Ringane attends to. Ringane, a traditional healer, also taught young healers the value of indigenous plants and their healing properties.
The carwash the EFF claimed was in operation had long since been closed, following the death of a young girl due to drugs. Ringane had sent this girl, her son and 25 other young children to the Sizabantu Rehabilitation Centre in KwaZulu-Natal for rehabilitation.
“I paid out of my own pocket and some of the parents also contributed. Drugs are killing our children and children as young as 15 years old are on drugs,” Ringane said.
“I’ll do everything I can to help them, but it is when they get back from rehabilitation that the challenges begin. Most of them are addicted to nyaope.”
Ledwaba had also accused Ringane of refusing to allow EFF members to hold meetings at her offices. But Tshwane chief whip Christo van den Heever said he was not aware of “any wrongdoing by Ringane”, urging the EFF to submit a complaint against the councillor “if it feels strongly about the allegations”.
“Only then will I be able to investigate it.”
Ringane said she had nothing to hide. “It is sad that people would go to such lengths to drag my name through the mud while they are doing nothing for the community.”