Council hit by divisions

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

The Molemole local municipality in Limpopo is on the brink of collapse because of disagreements over the dismissal of three section 57 managers.

Services at the municipality proceeded at a snail's pace yesterday since senior officials were locked in an urgent meeting to discuss the future of the three managers.

The situation got out of hand when certain members of the council called for municipal mayor Monica Mohale and manager Sudan Sithole to be relieved of their duties.

Those calling for their resignation said the two were dividing the municipality and hampering the delivery of services to communities.

The municipality is divided into two groups - those in favour of getting rid of the three managers and those against.

The three managers are Ernest Mokganya, manager for local economic development (LED), Sam Raselai, community services manager and technical services manager Eric Telekisa.

Raselai and Telekisa were accused of irregularly awarding lucrative contracts to people close to them.

Mokganya was accused of failing to advise the mayor about the irregular businesses undertaken by his colleagues.

Chief finance officer Tebogo Lesedi, who was accused of a similar offence, resigned in January this year, a few days before she could appear before the municipal disciplinary hearing.

Another three junior officials - Mpodu Morokolo, a labour relations officer, Rosina Moremi, an administration officer and Gladys Rapholo, an accountant - were dismissed after a forensic audit found them guilty of intimidation and two counts of negligence.

Municipal spokesman Molopa Timothy said the officials were dismissed by Sithole.

"But the decision to dismiss the three section 57 managers lies in the hands of the council," Molopa said.

"The council is divided over the decision and has called on the leadership of the ANC in the province to intervene."

At a tense meeting held with a delegation of ANC top brass yesterday, the council decided that the matter would be dealt with by the executive committee of the ANC in the province.

Humphrey Mokgobi, an ANC PEC member who led a team to quell the volatile situation at the municipality, said yesterday discussions aimed at finding a way for the council to speak with one voice were still under way.