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Caucus told it can't get rid of him

By unknown | May 09, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

A last-minute intervention by Limpopo premier Sello Moloto has saved Thabo Makunyane, the executive mayor of Polokwane.

The ANC caucus in the municipality was to pass a motion of no confidence in Makunyane yesterday.

The caucus has accused Makunyane of blocking development in rural villages and of interfering in the appointment of staff.

Sowetan has been told that Moloto yesterday warned the caucus against passing the motion of no confidence.

"Moloto told us that at no stage had an ANC leader been ousted by his own members," said the source, who asked to be quoted anonymously.

Makunyane was said to have run the municipality "with an iron fist". He is accused of announcing the membership of council committees without consulting the council.

The caucus wanted to put the no-confidence motion to the vote at a council meeting last Friday, but the Polokwane council's speaker, Lois Hardy, postponed the meeting to yesterday, two hours before it was due to start, without giving a reason.

A 15-page report from the caucus accused Makunyane of trying to ensure that Letsepe Thubakgale, an advocate who had been acting municipal manager for about two years, did not get the job, even though a panel had recommended him.

Makunyane's woes started earlier this year when the council's caucus sent a letter to the ANC regional office asking it to intervene.

In the letter, the caucus accused Makunyane of lacking political leadership and of centralising power in his office.

They accused him of delaying the appointment of the municipal manager in his own interests.

"The municipal manager controls members of the supply-chain unit, which is responsible for the issuing of tenders," said an insider

"Without a municipal manager, Makunyane takes final responsibility for this function."

Makunyane has rejected all the allegations against him.

He said the Municipality Finance Management Act prohibits interference by politicians in tendering.

"If I manipulated the process, tenders would be revoked," he said. "I am not an administrator. My job is to provide political leadership in the council."


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