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Gloves off for Tlokwe

A political fight for control of the Tlokwe Local Municipality in the North West rages on. With the by-elections just around the corner in the municipality’s seven wards, all political parties are gearing up for control of this local authority.

The by-elections are scheduled to be held on 24 February, following a Constitutional Court ruling that set aside the 2013 by-elections results in the seven wards.

Now opposition parties within the municipality are also preparing to push for a vote of no-confidence against the Executive Mayor and Council Speaker, at this Friday’s special council sitting intended to discuss the municipal adjustment budget.

Recently, the Pretoria High Court, dismissed with costs, the Democratic Alliance’s urgent application, to force the Speaker to convene a special council sitting.

The joint opposition parties comprising of the DA, Congress of the People (COPE) and Independent candidates, wanted to use the sitting to pass a motion of no-confidence against the executive of the council.

Opposition parties argue that following the decision by the Constitutional Court to set aside seven African National Congress councillors, they are now in the majority.

Well the Speaker already indicated that she will not allow the motion to serve on the agenda this coming council meeting this Friday but we will do whatever we can within the law

Opposition parties together have 23 councillors while the ANC has 22.

Now with the special council meeting convened for this Friday, joint opposition parties intend to use the opportunity to their advantage.

“We are in majority so we are going to dictate the terms of the agenda items that need to be discussed. So we believe that we should be occupying the executive positions as well as the speaker position,” says Kenneth Maduna of the Congress of the People.

The DA’s Chris Hattingh says, “Well the Speaker already indicated that she will not allow the motion to serve on the agenda this coming council meeting this Friday but we will do whatever we can within the law.”

Spokesperson for the Independent Candidates, David Kham, did not mince his words regarding the ousting of the ANC in the municipality.

“This meeting is a meeting called by the ANC minority so as a coalition of opposition parties we will be there on Friday to make sure that we defend the corruption against the ANC. So on Friday we are more than ready as the collective of the 23 we will be inside the chambers to teach them a lesson. We are a majority we are going to remove the ANC, there is no doubt about that, so we will be there on Friday to remove them,” says Kham.

However, Tlokwe municipal mayor, Kgotso Khumalo, was quick to respond to the purpose of the planned Friday special council meeting. He says no other matter will be discussed except those that are on the agenda as dictated by the municipal speaker.

“The Speaker has convened a special council meeting on the 29th of January which is a special council to deal with the adjustment budget of the municipality which is a compliance matter and that matter should be dealt with in that particular meeting. So far there has not been request to have any other agenda item but apart from that legislation requires that we deal with that at a special council meeting. Any other matter will be referred to a normal council meeting which will sit on the 23rd of February,” says Khumalo.

Joint opposition parties also want to discuss the amalgamation of Tlokwe and Ventersdorp municipalities as well as the alleged fraud and corruption cases laid against the Tlokwe municipal manager.

Watch video below for more on the story:

– By Patrick Dintwa

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