Seun Mogotji, a Limpopo councillor who claimed Fetakgomo-Tubatse Mayor Freddy Maila bought expensive cars, has been accused of accepting bribes from a Sekhukhune ANC faction that wants to replace the mayor for factional and economic reasons.
Dumisa Madalane, the secretary of the Power of African Unity (PAU) party in Limpopo and PR councillor in the Fetakgomo-Tubatse Municipality, said Mogotji undermined the council’s intelligence by questioning their decision to approve the vehicles to further a personal vendetta against the mayor.
He dismissed claims by Mogotji, a Bolsheviks councillor in a different municipality, Sekhukhune District Municipality, that Maila misused public funds to buy himself a cushy fleet of BMWs that he uses for his official duties.
“This is laughable. Mogotji is a Sekhukhune District Municipality councillor who is speaking nonsense and insulting our intelligence as councillors of Tubatse. The mayor has never bought himself a vehicle. It was us, the councillors, who decided in council.
“If Seun Mogotji is crying foul about the price of the vehicle, he is saying the council took an illogical decision. This appears to be a personal attack against the mayor. Seun Mogotji knows that the mayor of the district that he serves also drives a similar vehicle being used by our mayor, Maila, which is an X5. The same is happening at Elias Motsoaledi Local Municipality, where the mayor is also using an X5,” he said.
Last week, Mogotji, the Bolsheviks general secretary, approached the Hawks, asking them to investigate Maila for allegedly contravening the Municipal Finance Management Act.
He accused Maila of cruising around in two BMW vehicles, each worth more than the R700 000 budget allocated to municipal office-bearers nationwide.
After President Cyril Ramaphosa praised Maila’s service delivery record during a Presidential Imbizo last month, Mogotji accused the mayor of lying that he had completed infrastructure projects.
Madalane said the Fetakgomo-Tubatse council has 77 members, including the mayor. The municipal council is under the majority of the ANC, with 54 councillors, while the rest come from opposition parties, including the Bolsheviks.
“The municipality has never failed to deliver services because we bought a vehicle. It is obvious that there is serious infighting within the governing party. As an opposition party, we have been approached by some in the governing party to launch a campaign against the mayor without any cause.
“Since they failed, they identified Mogotji, which is very shameful because he also has a councillor who represents him in our council, meaning that this councillor was also involved in the decision to purchase the mayor’s vehicle. Mogotji is exposing himself that he has entered factional battles that we cannot entertain,” said Madalane.
The Bolsheviks Party has taken issue with Madalane’s claims, and denied any bribe allegations against Mogotji.
“[Madalane] went as far as claiming Seun Mogotji is receiving bribes from certain individuals. It’s a claim we refute and rubbish, and we challenge anyone who believes they have any proof to approach authorities with whatever proof they have and not resort to these baseless smear campaigns,” said the party in a statement.
The Bolsheviks Party also threatened legal action over the bribery allegations.
Meanwhile, Hawks provincial spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Matimba Maluleke confirmed they were investigating Mogotji’s complaint against Maila.
Fetakgomo-Tubatse municipal spokesperson Thabiso Mokoena said they would only comment on the matter once the Hawks case has been finalized, while ANC provincial spokesperson Jimmy Machaka was not immediately available to comment on the infighting allegations raised by Madalane.