Mayor faces axe for 'sex grooming'

Suspended Emfuleni mayor Simon Mofokeng is facing a huge storm as new allegations emerge.
Suspended Emfuleni mayor Simon Mofokeng is facing a huge storm as new allegations emerge.
Image: ANTONIO MUCHAVE

The ANC in Gauteng has given the strongest indication that it will sack the embattled Emfuleni mayor, Simon Mofokeng.

Mofokeng, who is also the ANC Sedibeng regional chairman, was placed on special leave after allegedly sending a semi-nude picture of a 14-year-old girl to a WhatsApp group known as the Festival of Ideas, formed by ANC members.

In an interview with Sowetan yesterday, ANC Gauteng chairman Paul Mashatile said the party would not defend wrongdoings.

"The ANC in Gauteng will not defend wrongdoing, irrespective of whether you support us or [not]. We will not protect someone because you are the leader of the region," Mashatile said.

He cited the example of former Gauteng MEC Humphrey Mmemezi, who was embroiled in a scandal for abusing his government-issued credit card and damaging a state vehicle.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma supporters in Gauteng have accused the ANC provincial leadership of protecting Mofokeng because he is backing Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to take over as ANC leader.

Mofokeng met with ANC Gauteng secretary Hope Papo to give his side of the story last week. His fate will be decided in a week

Mashatile said the ANC didn't want to take any drastic action until it has heard Mofokeng's side of the story.

"We will not protect anyone but there must be a sense of fairness and justice in what we do. We don't want him to say there were false allegations. If the evidence is such that there is wrongdoing on his part, we will act on that basis. [It's] not about what other people are targeting him for."

Mashatile said the party was embarrassed by things that go against ANC values.

Mofokeng refused to comment yesterday.

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