Opposition parties have been branding the move an 'ANC election gimmick endeavouring to drum up support for the party' in the upcoming government municipal elections.
The ANC in Limpopo has redeployed embattled Mogalakwena local municipality mayor Andrina Matsemela amid recent allegations of corruption and poor service delivery.
But the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) say it was aimed at appeasing the electorate ahead of the municipal elections.
The decision to redeploy Matsemela was taken during a special ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) virtual meeting on Friday.
“We can confirm the PEC of the ANC has taken a decision to redeploy the mayor of Mogalakwena municipality Andrina Matsemela, council speaker Samuel Mathebula and ANC chief whip Madimetja Monare,” said ANC provincial spokesperson Donald Selamolela on Monday.
He said the PEC’s action was influenced by the party’s need to strengthen service delivery in that part of the province.
He said the PEC believed redeploying the three to areas where their expertise was most needed would help increase capacity and improve service delivery.
“Recently the municipality was placed under section 139  [b], which forced the provincial government to oversee the day-to-day functioning of the institution.
“The same municipality has been rocked by serious challenges, including the much-publicised R1 billion wasteful, fruitless and unauthorised expenditure, which gave rise to instability within the municipality.
“But it must be borne in mind that our action to redeploy the three has nothing to do with the current situation of the municipality. The PEC will, therefore, announce in due course where the three will be deployed and who will fill their positions,” said Selamolela.
Matsemela was not available for comment at the time of going to press.
But tongues are wagging in the province, with opposition parties branding the move an “ANC election gimmick endeavouring to drum up support for the party” in the upcoming government municipal elections.
“We do, however, welcome the dismissal of Matsemela and her political juntas. Matsemela has gained notoriety since her birthday extravagance a few years ago.
“In August 2018, she spent R67 000 on a two-day trip to Cape Town and in September 2018 she blew R1.5 million of taxpayers’ money on a birthday colour run and bash, all for herself,” said DA Limpopo provincial leader Jacques Smalle on Monday.
He added: “The truth is that Mogalakwena municipality has been captured by an ANC faction and plagued by corruption and widescale and unabated looting for almost a decade.”
He said that in July last year, the municipal public accounts committee chair Vaaltyn Kekana and Alf Kenyane, an ANC branch chair, were murdered.
“We believe the dismissal of Matsemela and her juntas is a frivolous move by the ANC to cover its malicious corrupt tendencies and mass looting,” he said. “We are requesting MEC for cooperative governance Basikopo Makamu to dissolve the Mogalakwena council and make public the findings of the forensic report.”
EFF provincial secretary George Raphela said the decision to recall the three was long overdue and that the entire council should be dissolved.
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