'Premier is a cow who ignores us'

THE Mashishing Activist Forum has accused Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza of being "a cow".

Mabuza had gone to Mashishing on Sunday and announced that the Thaba Chweu municipality had been put under administration while "certain burning issues" continued to affect the community.

Samora Mlotswa, the forum's spokesperson, said they had concluded that Mabuza only had his own interests at heart and not those of the people.

"Our honourable premier is a cow and he can sue me if he feels like it - but he will remain a dishonest person as well as a failure.

"We now understand why other top politicians want to oust him from his position," Mlotswa said yesterday.

"The premier operates in a way that can only make us describe him as a character straight from a James Hadley Chase detective novel."

He said Mabuza had failed to implement the recommendations of a task team that had conducted investigations into Thaba Chweu municipality, including the charging of people who were named as suspects following the disappearance of R3,2million from the municipality's main accounts.

"These people, including the chief financial officer, who were suspended, were somehow somersaulted back into the Thaba Chweu municipality while the money is still missing.

"We have information that the premier is behind the return of the suspended officials," Mlotswa said.

However, Isaac Moshoadiba, the municipal manager, told Sowetan that the officials' suspension was lifted after a disciplinary inquiry found that they were "not linked" to the fraud.

Mlotswa said Mabuza was meant to come to Mashishing to respond to the demands that were in the forum's memorandum, but had failed to inform the organisation about his visit.

Denying this, Mabuza's spokesperson Mabutho Sithole, said the premier had informed all stakeholders.

"We notified the community that we would report to them on their memo that was submitted to us in May, as well as the cabinet's decision about putting the municipality under administration," said Mabutho.

"Tell Samora that he is not the God of Mashishing who needs to be treated in a special way. People were there in large numbers and which people is he representing?" Mabutho added.

Meanwhile, the provincial department of corporate governance and traditional affairs has announced that Terence Mokale had been appointed as administrator for Thaba Chweu municipality.

"He was appointed with effect from Monday and would serve for a period of six months," said the department's spokespersonSimphiwe Kunene.