Reappointment sparks tribalism

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

Attempts by the ANC to reappoint a manager in the greater Tzaneen municipality hit a brick wall at the party's caucus meeting at the weekend.

This comes after the ANC in Limpopo allegedly ordered greater Tzaneen local municipality to reappoint Vincent Maake as civil engineering manager.

Maake has two appointment letters - one as community services manager and another as civil engineering manager.

In a document leaked to Sowetan, Maake was ordered by the ANC to resume his duty as civil engineering manager as soon as possible.

Sources within the ANC said Maake's appointment divided the party and the management of the municipality.

"Senior ANC officials such as municipal mayor Othaniel Mushwana and ANC chief whip in the same municipality, Joyce Nkunika, are said to be against the move," said the source.

The Maake saga has, sources at the municipality say, spawned tribal divisions, with his return being supported by the Sepedi-speaking people as opposed to Xitsonga speakers.

Municipal manager Mabakane Mangena said the management was still waiting for a formal council resolution before it could act.

He said the municipality would accept anything recommended by council.

The Maake debacle came to a head when his contract as manager was not renewed. The contracts for four other managers were renewed.

Through the intervention of the provincial government, he was reinstated for three months after which he was left high and dry. Once more, the provincial government, sources say, directed the municipality to reinstate him.

Those opposed to his reinstatement wanted him to be given an insignificant post in the community services department.

Critics say the municipality is in the red. They claim it is operating on an overdraft of R2million and owes a further R2million to Absa.

Neither Mushwana nor Nkunika were available for comment. Provincial secretary for the ANC, Cassel Mathale, said the ANC in the province was not briefed about the matter, but undertook to investigate.