Mhlontlo rival parties turn to Cogta

Opposition councillors in Mhlontlo municipality have written to co-operative governance MEC Fikile Xasa asking for urgent intervention to compel the council to rescind some of its resolutions.
The UDM, Civic Independent and EFF believe that the October 9 special council meeting was illegal, and they want all decisions taken at that sitting rescinded. They say they only received agendas inside council chambers as opposed to the required 24 hours before a sitting.
UDM councillor Zakheni Nondaka said the council had resolved to hire a bodyguard for ANC ward 20 councillor Mabiza Mfamela, who had reportedly received death threats.
Nondaka – who has also written to mayor Nompulelelo Dywili requesting that she not implement any of the resolutions taken in the council meeting – said on Monday that there wasn’t even a police report on the alleged death threat.
“The threat just seems unfounded,” said Nondaka. “Now money which could be used for service delivery will be [used] to guard this councillor.”
Civic Independent’s Duma Guqa said the mayoral committee had instructed mayor Dywili to write a letter to the municipal manager, Sibongile Sotshongaye, asking why he should not be suspended.
Sotshongaye was expected to provide answers within seven working days.
Guqa argued that it was the job of the council, not the mayoral committee, to come up with such a resolution.
Attempts to contact Sotshongaye on this matter were unsuccessful. But Dywili said the mayoral committee had merely made a recommendation and that it was, in fact, a council resolution that she wrote to Sotshongaye.
She said it was because Sotshongaye had failed to spend on several projects, including roads. “Our roads are in a bad [state] and five roads were identified for fixing in the 2017-18 financial year but that didn’t happen. We also took a resolution in 2016 that people of Mhlontlo receive free paraffin and there was money for that.
“But for two years, that resolution was not implemented. As senior accounting officer, he has to account as to why this did not happen,” she said.
The opposition also accused Dywili and one ANC faction of trying to unlawfully extend the contract of infrastructure manager Thando Mase by a further three months. Nondaka claimed this was why they were trying to squeeze Sotshongaye from his position.
But Dywili dismissed this on Monday, saying she had been instructed to write to the MEC to approve Mase’s extension while the recruitment processes for a new infrastructure manager was under way.
“Included there is a special recommendation that if the recruitment is completed while the three-month extension is ongoing, then the extension will be rescinded,” Dywili said.
Council speaker Mbulelo Jara denied that agendas were only distributed at the start of the council meeting. They viewed threats on Mfamela’s life as very serious, he added.
EFF’s Khungeka Mpula said infighting within the ANC was threatening to derail service delivery in Mhlontlo.
“We’re not saying people must be fired but everything has to be done in accordance with the law,” she said.
Provincial Cogta spokesperson Mamnkeli Ngam confirmed that Xasa had received the letter from the opposition councillors last week. “We will respond to them,” he said...

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