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Ditsobotla yet to swear-in councillors, first meeting abandoned

North West’s Ditsobotla Local Municipality is yet to swear in new councillors and elect a mayor after its first December sitting descended into chaos.

By-elections for all 39 council seats took place on 14 December following the dissolution of the broken municipality by Parliament.

In a huge blow to the African National Congress (ANC), the governing party failed to win an outright majority for the first time, managing to attain 39.82%, down from the 51% it received from the 2021 local polls.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) got 26% of the votes and snatched two wards from the ANC.

The ANC now has 16 seats, followed by the EFF with 10 and the Democratic Alliance (DA) with six.

Forum for Service Delivery (F4SD) retained its two seats, while the few remaining seats went to smaller parties.

EFF want administrator gone

By law, a council should sit within 14 days of by-elections and swear in councillors who would in turn elect a mayor and speaker. But the first meeting on 28 December, which had been postponed several times before, failed to get down with the business of the day after EFF councillors opposed administrator Radinaledi Mosiane presiding over the meeting.

The red berets argued that Mosiane’s term of office as administrator officially ended on 16 December and called for his removal.

“During the intervention period, the administrator failed to restore good governance, administration and stability in the municipality.

“His failures are evident in that the people of Ditsobotla are at the receiving end of abject poverty, unemployment and lack of service delivery,” the party said after the sitting.

ALSO READ: EFF, DA snatch wards from ANC in by-election

MEC for Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs and ANC provincial chairperson, Nono Maloyi, was also present at the inaugural council meeting.

The EFF labelled Mosiane as a “delinquent and redundant” administrator who tried to preside over an inaugural sitting even though his time at Ditsobotla had lapsed.

“MEC Nono Maloyi was present in the council meeting and all the abortive attempts to apply irregular processes happened on his watch.

“It is the ultimate proof that the governing party is tolerant of maladministration,” the party said.

‘Petty excuses’

According to DA caucus leader, Yusuf Laher, Mosiane failed to maintain order and have the councillors sworn in on the day.

“The arrangements surrounding this inaugural meeting have been chaotic, having originally been scheduled for 22 December 2022 in the Ditsobotla Council Chambers, it was then postponed to 28 December, at the SAVF Hall, but a last-minute change in venue was made to hold the meeting at the Mokone Hall due to ‘reputational issues with the municipality.’

“Evidently, the reputation of the Ditsobotla Local Municipality is in such a damaged state that the administration could not even secure a suitable venue.”

He said all parties had agreed for Mosiane to continue chairing the meeting except the EFF.

“The EFF raised concerns that they did not receive invitations for this inaugural meeting, that the deployment of administrator Mosiane has ended and therefore could not preside over the business of the day and that the last-minute venue change was an inconvenience.

“These were petty EFF excuses to justify the disruption of the inaugural meeting which ultimately resulted in its adjournment.

“All EFF councillors-elect were present, and if they were true servants of the people, they could have put their personal inconveniences aside to conclude the inaugural meeting so that the new council could begin to restore governance and service delivery to residents.”

Laher added that Mosiane remained the administrator “for now” since councillors haven’t received any communication from Maloyi’s department regarding his tenure.

No date was set for the next sitting.

READ MORE: Politicians looking to win votes by cleaning streets, patching Ditsobotla’s potholes



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