This was a request made to the African National Congress’s leadership by Maphetle himself, Ishmael Mnisi said. “In the aftermath of these issues we were confronted with in Tlokwe, comrade Maphetle met the leadership of the ANC at Luthuli House… where they had a conversation about the Tlokwe situation.
“Comrade Maphetle indicated that as a disciplined member of the ANC he would not want a situation where issues surrounding him affected the party,” said Mnisi. The North West city is currently being run by a Democratic Alliance mayor Annette Combrink after 14 ANC councillors voted with opposition parties to unseat Maphetle.
The councillors were expelled by the party’s provincial disciplinary committee but the ANC’s national disciplinary committee later overturned the expulsions. This was the second time he 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 levelled at Maphetle.
If the ANC wins the six by-elections in the municipality later this month it will have enough seats in the council to take back control. Mnisi said Maphetle had made a selfless decision and had put the interest of the ANC first.