An angry opposition councillor in Matatiele local municipality is demanding answers as to why two municipal cars, including one used by the mayor Momelezi Mbedla, were used during a campaign by ANC members on Monday.
DA ward councillor Wonga Potwana yesterday told the Daily Dispatch he had written a letter to municipal manager Tshepang Nakin after he spotted two cars being driven in an ANC convoy that was campaigning in town for several hours on Monday afternoon.
One of the cars, is reportedly used to transport technicians working in the municipality’s electricity section while another, an Isuzu double cab, is used by Mbedla for official municipal work in rural areas.
The latter was allegedly driven by the mayor’s driver but at the time, Mbedla himself was out of town according to the opposition councillor.
Potwana claimed the cars were branded with municipal stickers on the sides but they had allegedly been removed and replaced with ANC stickers.
“We [DA] want to know who signed for the cars and what the cars were meant to be doing or going at that time. We also want to know how much fuel was used,” he said.
“This is a blatant abuse of municipal resources.”
He said no law allowed for state resources to be used in campaigns by political parties and that what he witnessed on Monday afternoon was tantamount to corruption.
“If they decide to do that then they should also give other parties municipal cars to use for campaigning as well.”
But when contacted for comment on the matter Mbedla refused to comment saying the municipal manager, as the “custodian of municipal resources” would be better placed to comment.
Nakin on the other hand could neither deny nor confirm receipt of Potwana’s letter.
However, he claimed the other car, also an Isuzu bakkie, had been sold during an auction three weeks ago but confirmed that the double cab was used by the mayor for municipal business.
“It [bakkie] was probably driven by the person who bought it,” he added.
But when asked about the mayoral vehicle, he said he would launch an investigation to establish why it had been used during an ANC campaign. “It is totally unacceptable. Political parties should campaign with their own resources,” he said. — firstname.lastname@example.org