Ex-mayor returns as councillor

THE ANC in Limpopo has thrown former Vhembe district municipality executive mayor Irene Mutsila a political lifeline and elected her as an ordinary councillor.

Mutsila was removed three years ago after being accused of appointing Joseph Silinda unprocedurally as municipal manager. Party insiders claim that Mutsila was the victim of a purge after she had failed to appoint a candidate preferred by the ANC leadership.

Her explanation at the time was that she had made the appointment based on the Municipal Structures and Systems Act, which gave her the power to appoint Silinda.

When Mutsila was removed, her place was taken over by Muthotho Sigidi, a close ally of then minister Sydney Mufamadi. Mutsila had allegedly overlooked Sigidi for the municipal manager's position.

An ANC source told Sowetan that the party had finally realised it was punishing Mutsila for nothing.

"There was nothing wrong about her decision to appoint Silinda ... but it was wrong because many people had an interest in that position," said the ANC source.

Mutsila could not be reached for comment as her phone was on voicemail.