“I’m busy with a job, I’m in close contact with the community,” Maphetle said outside the Boikhotso Secondary School in Ikageng, Potchefstroom, where a by-election was taking place. “I’m doing ground work, much easier work and I have more time. This time I’m with the people.”
The former African National Congress mayor said he realised the councillor in ward six, where he lived, was not doing much. Maphetle said he decided to step in and help the community. He was attending ward meetings and helping residents.
The North West city is currently being run by a Democratic Alliance mayor after councillors voted to unseat Maphetle. This followed a lengthy saga that took a turn in the High Court in Johannesburg. This was the second time Maphetle had been unseated since November.
While the DA was in charge last year, it requested a forensic investigation into irregularities at the municipality. The probe found that the council had irregularly bought Maphetle a R736,000 customised Mercedes-Benz. Maphetle allegedly abused the Disaster Management Fund and Poverty Relief Fund.
The report recommended that formal disciplinary action be taken against him and other officials. In May, the DA laid criminal charges against Maphetle, and in June, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said she would investigate the claims of corruption involving Maphetle.
Eight by-elections were being held in the North West on Wednesday. All the wards were previously held by the ANC. One of them, ward nine in Tlokwe, became vacant when the councillor resigned to focus on his job as a teacher.
Maphetle said he came to the by-election in ward nine to support the ANC’s candidate, Mary Segogonyane Mosieleng. “I’m here to support the ward candidate. It’s a disciplined candidate.”