The Democratic Allience (DA) in Limpopo has been thrown into disarray following a move to oust its mayor at the Modimolle-Mookgophong Municipality.
This comes in the form of two motions of no confidence filed by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the African National Congress (ANC) in council.
The two parties filed the two separate motions against mayor Marlene van Staden. However, the province’s DA leader and premier candidate, Jaques Smalle says the motions by the two parties are a smokescreen to hide corruption.
“These motions come at a time of the imminent release of a forensic audit investigation preliminary report into financial maladministration over the last two years and the EFF’s attempt to stop the bid adjudication of MIG projects,” said Smalle.
”The intention behind these motions are even more suspicious given that there are no valid reasons given by either of these parties for their decision to table these motions of no confidence at this particular point in time,” Smalle said.
The DA also has to to grapple with the resolution of the provincial executive to invoke Section 139(1) (c) which deals with the dissolution of the municipal council and the appointment of an administrator until a new council is elected, if exceptional circumstances warrant such a step.
Van Staden received a letter from the Limpopo Provincial Executive Council stating its intention to dissolve the Council.
“I have been given seven days to make representations which will allow for further determination by the Executive Council on the intervention. This section allows the Provincial Government to take such a drastic step in exceptional circumstances,” said Van Staden.
She said that CoGHSTA MEC, Jerry Ndou didn’t give any indication in his letter of what “exceptional circumstances” had suddenly emerged to warrant such a drastic step and it had therefore been difficult for the mayor to make representations in the absence of any justification.
“In fact, for the past four months the Provincial Government has already intervened at the municipality in terms of section 139(1)(b) following a request from me and the intervention has so far yielded positive results,” she said.
The EFF and the ANC have set aside their differences to use their combined numbers in the council to give the DA the boot.
The DA has been in power through a coalition with the EFF and the Freedom Front plus after the 2016 municipal elections.
This means that if the ANC with its 12 seats combine with five of the EFF the motions will prevail while the EFF wants the whole political management team – Van Staden, speaker Dingaan Motshwene and chief whip Hercules Louw – removed.
Smalle is adamant that the DA will continue to run the municipality.
“The municipality is in the process of awarding several tenders to the value of tens of millions of rands. The DA was reliably informed that the motions are allegedly aimed at stopping the release of the forensic investigation and to elect an ANC/EFF coalition of corruption to share in a tender scheme with an eye on raising funds for both parties’ 2019 election campaigns,” Smalle added.