The opposition in North West has welcomed the eventual resignation of Sol Plaatje Mayor Mangaliso Matika as a victory for the people of Kimberley.
Andrew Louw, the DA’s leader in the province, said on Monday night it was also an about-turn from the earlier “harsh words of the failing ANC’s Collen Maine, who earlier today said that they would not be forced into removing Matika”.
— Lesego Kantani™ (@LesegoKantani) September 3, 2018
Maine had earlier said they were in meetings to decide the fate of Matika and they would not be pressured by any groups on their decision.
— Nkgono Neria (@neriahlakotsa) September 3, 2018
Maine boldly said at a briefing at the Amaqhawe provincial office in the Northern Cape on Monday morning that the ANC was not scared of the repercussions of losing votes in the 2019 elections, because the ANC intended to emerge victorious.
Kimberley residents had given the provincial ANC until Sunday to recall Sol Plaatje mayor Mangaliso Matika. Residents gathered at the Galeshewe Square where they gave the provincial ANC the ultimatum.
Maine added it would not be hard to recall Matika, but the “ANC will not be pressured to do so by groups of people”.
Maine said other national executive committee members would be coming to the province to find solutions because peace and stability were the priority of the ANC.
The league president said other issues were also discussed in meetings such as the calls for the Northern Cape premier, Sylvia Lucas, to also step down.
He maintained they were still in meetings to decide the fate of Matika. He said no one was above the ANC, adding that the president was recalled and the ANC could also recall the premier and the mayor.
Police presence was increased around the provincial ANC offices following threats by residents to march there as part of the #KimberleyShutdown to pressure the party to recall Matika.
The party spent the entire weekend in meetings to decide Matika’s fate amid threats of protests to the ANC offices and and on national roads by locals.
“Matika long ago lost the confidence of not only the residents of Kimberley but also the majority of Sol Plaatje councillors. He mismanaged municipal funds, manipulated municipal business in favour of his friends and abused resources to sustain a luxury lifestyle. All this was done at an unwarranted cost to residents, and at the expense of service delivery and the local economy.
“The Matika saga should serve as a wake-up call to the failing ANC, that governments of the day are voted into power by the people and that the people should never be taken for granted,” said Louw.
“While we welcome Matika’s departure, it will nonetheless take more hard work to ensure that Matika madness comes to an end and that the power of his crooked cronies, like municipal manager Ruth Sebolecwe, is nipped in the bud. It will also require much work to undo years of misallocation of funds, that have resulted in especially a lack of maintenance of the city sewerage system, and the dire neglect of roads as well as basic services in DA wards in particular.
“The DA will continue to probe the Matika scandals, including the purchase of his luxury BMW and his municipal funded accommodation, with luxury furnishings, as well as his hand in the awarding of certain tenders and kickbacks. Justice must still be allowed to take its course and those who aided Matika must be held accountable.”