mayor drives into trouble

THE mayor for the Makhuduthamaga local municipality in Se-khukhune, Limpopo, could kiss her job goodbye after crashing a luxurious municipal vehicle last week.

The accident allegedly happened while coming from Johannesburg where she is attending lectures at Wits University.

Her studies are being paid by the municipality, making her use of the car an official trip.

Now Queen Mokhabela has to face the wrath of the council for ignoring a resolution that forbids her from driving herself in a municipal car.

The council took a resolution which Sowetan is in possession of, in June 8 this year, that Mokhabela should no longer drive herself.

Mokhabela, who was in the news a fortnight ago for allegedly awarding a lucrative tender to her close allies, ignored the resolution and drove herself in a Mercedes Benz to Pretoria.

This was despite the fact that the municipality hired a driver, who is idling everyday but collecting over R5000 every month.

In a document leaked to Sowetan, the council resolved that Mokhabela had to stop driving herself in the mayoral car with effect from June 8 2009.

The council also resolved that if the mayor continues to defy the council by driving the car, the next council meeting would take decisive action against her.

Council chief whip Sam Malaka said the council was still waiting for an official report from Mokhabela when she returns from Gauteng where she is attending a meeting with other mayors. Contacted for comment, Mokhabela confirmed that she crashed the car and that it was seriously damaged.

"I drove the car because the council had stopped the driver who was driving me following serious criminal charges that he faced with the municipality.

"This is after I caught the driver red-handed draining petrol from the car. I therefore decided that I could not be chauffeured around by a thief who also joined the Congress of the People ," she said.

Mokhabela said the driver was also arrogant, stubborn and "wanted to control me and decide my trips".

"I know this is a personal attack and I am ready for any action."

Mokhabela was allegedly involved in another accident early this year when she crashed the same car while trying to reverse.