ANC bigwig drawn into Dr JS Moroka fight

An ANC region in Mpumalanga is taking action against rebel councillors who participated in the ousting of its mayor last month.

This comes as the Nkangala regional chairman, Speedy Mashilo, is also emerging as a central figure in the conflict which has pitted Dr JS Moroka local municipality's municipal manager Thami Kubheka against mayor Thulare Madileng.

Madileng needed an out-of-court settlement to return to the helm following a disputed council meeting which saw more than a dozen ANC members voting in favour of an EFF motion to oust him.

ANC regional spokesperson Sello Matshoga told Sowetan yesterday that its disciplinary committee has already started with the process of instituting disciplinary action against 15 councillors.

"On Friday, the disciplinary committee held their first meeting; they're processing the matter, they've formulated charges against each councillor and the councillors will be given an opportunity to appear before the disciplinary committee," Matshoga said.

The municipality, which sits in Siyabuswa, has been rocked by water shortages, community protests, court battles and allegations that the conflict is a proxy battle for the upcoming ANC provincial elective conference.

Last week, Kubheka, who Madileng wants to suspend, wrote to the MEC for cooperative governance and traditional affairs Mandla Msibi to report that Mashilo, who is also an MPL, had been taking municipal contract documents of certain service providers.

The letter, which Sowetan has seen, also indicated that Kubheka was also planning to report Mashilo's conduct to public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

"You are hereby requested to intervene in getting the MPL (member of provincial legislature) to behave and conduct in a manner conforming to the ethics of members and to respect the privacy of other and respect the constitution," Kubheka wrote.

Matshoga defended Mashilo's actions saying the party's regional chairperson cannot fold his arms when whistle-blowers approached him with information of wrongdoing in an ANC-run municipality.

"Some of the members inside including senior managers there approached the chairperson, saying there are service providers appointed without following the right procedures.

"When the chairperson is approached with problems in that municipality he must react," Matshoga said.

He added: "Remember an MPL does not account to the MEC, he also does not account to the premier. He accounts to the legislature."

The Mpumalanga government has already resolved to institute section 106 B of the Local Government Systems Act which would see a forensic investigation being launched at three municipalities including Dr JS Moroka.

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