Merafong Mayor unlawfully replaced with MMC who is allegedly supported by MECs Lesufi and Maile

Issued by Solly Msimanga MPL – DA Gauteng Spokesperson on CoGTA
01 Apr 2021 in Press Statements

Note to Editors: Please find a soundbite by Councillor Devin Nieuwenhuizen in English here and Afrikaans here

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng notes the unlawful removal of the Merafong Local Municipality Mayor, Maphefo Mogale-Letsie, in the Council yesterday.

Instead of tabling a motion of no confidence and putting it on the meeting agenda, the Council Speaker and ANC Chief Whip during the meeting conspired by making an unannounced proposal for the removal of the Mayor that was subsequently supported by the ANC council majority.

Mogale-Letsie was then replaced by the current MMC for Infrastructure Development, Mogomotso Sello, who is allegedly supported by MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi and MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Lebogang Maile.

The change in mayorship will have no effect for the resident of Merafong, who have for the past few months been taking service delivery matters into their own hands out of desperation. The new Mayor will have nothing new to offer the residents, as he is simply the same rotten apple as his predecessor.

The Council also removed the acting Municipal Manager, Lerato Peu, who was replaced with Siyamthemba Mdletshe, another clear-cut cadre deployment exercise. These changes are a blatant demonstration of ANC factional battles vying for power.

Since 2015, the DA has been asking for the removal of the Mayor. Since then, the situation has become more dire, with the Municipality sitting with less than R1000 in the bank on some days. It only makes one more suspicious that the ANC decides now to remove a compromised Mayor in unlawful and hasty fashion.

With R658 million owed to Eskom, a monthly municipal income of around 51%, and 17 000 untouched illegal connections, the municipality is only able to make payments to Eskom, Rand Water, and staff salaries, with service delivery rolled out on a rotational basis.

The new ANC faction taking charge of Merafong will be very disappointed to find the municipal coffers empty, as their own colleagues and predecessors have done a tremendous job leeching the municipality dry.

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