At every chance they get, residents of Sol Plaatje ask the question. Be it at a tavern, car wash, while in a queue at the bank or waiting at the clinic for service, at work or even at church. When will normality return to the city of Kimberley?
The events that have played out over the last three months caused unprecedented damaged to the image of the city.
The ruling ANC is currently pre occupied with internal disciplinary issues related to the 11 councillors that previously voted with opposition parties to remove Mangaliso Matika as executive mayor of the municipality. This removal was declared unprocedural at the Northern Cape High Court in Kimberley.
The expelled councillors believe that internal procedures were not followed and that substantive fairness was non-existent. It was indicated that only one councillor’s disciplinary hearing was concluded, while the rest were not taken through any disciplinary hearing, before the sanction of expulsion was decided upon. The ANC’s regional leadership is confident that the disciplinary processes were above water and will stand the test of procedural fairness.
The expelled councillor indicated that “some of us did vote for Mabilo, but due to the secret ballot it will be difficult to prove. Some councillors belonging to Matika’s faction deliberately voted for Pule, knowing that it would automatically be assumed that it was us. They don’t want Mabilo, because he is a PEC member and will not be accountable to them (the regional leadership). They want a puppet to continue with looting. We are victims of a power struggle between the region and some PEC members.”
The councillor blamed the Regional Officials of the Frances Baard ANC for instability of the Sol Plaatje Municipality. “We love the ANC and can’t allow its longstanding image to be wiped out by looters. Matika will go down in history as the Regional Chairperson that lost the elections in Sol Plaatje sub-region,” the councillor continued. The councillor pointed out that the charges against them cannot stick , because the meeting of 25 July 2018 was declared null and void by the High Court. The councillor further stated that they did not vote with the opposition, but instead it was an ANC councillor that nominated Pule Thabane to stand as a nominee for the position of executive mayor. The expelled councillors said they will continue to serve the people of Kimberley as they were elected to do so, despite the “victimisation” they are encountering.
“We will appeal this kangaroo court outcome and we will be vindicated by the NEC,” the councillor said.
The Regional Secretary, Webster Dichaba, said that the councillors did not honour the Councillor Deployment Agreement which requires ANC councillors “to observe discipline, behave honestly and carry out loyally the decisions of the ANC Caucus and of the ANC.”