Political loyalties divide council

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

Political intolerance in Limpopo has now crept into the administration of Modimolle Municipality.

The situation has led to the suspension of municipal manager Charles Powell and chief financial officer Patricia Segwapa.

At issue is councillors and municipal officials arguing about the support for either Premier Sello Moloto or Cassel Mathale for the provincial leadership in the forthcoming ANC conference scheduled for the University of Venda from July 17 to 20.

Though some at the municipality tried to play down the developments, Sowetan has learnt that the suspensions have everything to do with the camps' allegiance saga.

Powell and Segwapa were suspended on Monday with full pay pending an investigation.

They were charged with insubordination, negligence, non-performance, non-compliance with national legislation and council resolutions, and maladministration.

Mayor Teboho Mohapi is said to have tried to call them to order but without success.

A letter in possession of Sowetanreads in part: "During the suspension of the two officials the council will institute investigations to determine their suitability for the positions they hold, their performance and other administrative and management issues."

The council consists of 16 members, the majority of whom are said to support Mathale.

Led by chief whip Sammy Motshegoa, the group allegedly walked out of council meetings several times when Mohapi was supposed to make an address.

Motshegoa's wife, Linah, is a councillor at the same municipality, which also fuels claims that nepotism is rife. Segwapa is his niece, while Powell is said to be a distant relative of his.

Mohapi said yesterday: "We do not need to politicise the whole thing. It's just a coincidence that it (political differences) happened in the midst of the suspensions."