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Mayors, councillors 'snub' premier

By unknown | Mar 10, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

Limpopo Premier Sello Moloto's support base in the province is shrinking, if the poor turnout at Relela village near Tzaneen during his visit is anything to go by.

None of the mayors from the five municipalities in Mopani attended the memorial service for Matsie Ramathoka, a community development worker and general secretary of the Desmond Mahasha ANC branch.

The chairman of the preparatory committee and of the branch, Botha Ramphelo, said yesterday all councillors and mayors had been informed about Moloto's visit and were expected to attend.

Ramphelo said none of the mayors, ward councillors or executive mayors of the district had even sent apologies for their absence. Of the more than 150 councillors of the district, only four known "diehard" supporters of President Thabo Mbeki attended.

Humphrey Mokgobi, executive mayor of Mopani district, and Othaniel Mushwana, mayor of Greater Tzaneen Municipality, were also unable to attend.

Mokgobi cited commitments at a Sadtu rally in Lenyenye where the union held an education indaba. Sadtu confirmed that Mokgobi was invited long before he knew about the premier's visit.

Mushwana claimed that he had an appointment with his doctor. "I would have attended had I not been having an appointment with my doctor." .

Junior Mafogo, mayor of Greater Maruleng Municipality, and the only mayor to have attended, is said to have stayed in his car until the service was over.

Mafogo had allegedly received an urgent call from his bosses who forbade him to attend the service - or else face the music.

An ANC member loyal to Zuma told Sowetan that the ANC in the region wanted to boycott all the functions organised by the office of the premier attended by Moloto.

This came into reality when only two MECs and a few mayors attended a Human Rights Day rally Sekhukhune on Saturday.


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