The Sol Plaatje Municipality is still without an executive mayor and a speaker. This after the special council meeting on Friday was abruptly adjourned after chaos erupted.
What was expected to be a smooth ride for the African National Congress’ choice for executive mayor, Patrick Mabilo, turned out to be a disaster as he had to be whisked away after the hurling of water bottles in the council chambers.
ANC councillors were taken to task on Wednesday by the top brass of the province for not following the party line, when eleven of them voted with the opposition to remove Matika. The meeting with councillors was described by some ANC councillors as a political school, which highlighted the strategy and tactics policy of the ANC and in particular its democratic centralism principle. It was assumed that after the meeting, all ANC councillors would vote for Patrick Mabilo, the choice of the Provincial Executive Committee to fill the vacancy left by Matika’s involuntary resignation.
It was expected that Mabilo would be the only ANC nominee for the position of executive mayor. However, one of the “11 ANC councillors”, Madede Wapad defied the mandate and opted to nominate Pule Thabane. After an ANC caucus was called, water bottles were blasted from the public gallery.
The ANC’s Provincial Secretary, Deshi Ngxanga, said at a media briefing on Friday that the Provincial Executive Committee “noted” the disruptions at the council meeting and has agreed with the Regional Executive Committee to withdraw three proportional representation (PR) councillors from the party’s list. The three councillors form part of the 11 councillors that voted with the opposition to remove Matika as executive mayor and include Pule Thabane, who acted as executive mayor and who was nominated on Friday to challenge Mabilo in the election of mayor.
Ngxanga pointed out that the rest of the defying councillors (8) will face disciplinary action by the party and hinted that the process to charge the councillors should be finalised this Friday.