ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile’s efforts to put out fires in North West caused by the dispute over the party’s mayoral candidate in the Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District Municipality have been rejected by disgruntled ANC councillors as an “endorsement of deviant behaviour”.
The councillors at the Vryburg-based municipality elected an EFF mayor in an act of rebellion against Gaolatlhe Kgabo, who was the choice of the interim provincial committee (IPC).
Mashatile has taken over the secretarial duties of the governing party in the absence of suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule and his deputy Jessie Duarte, who is on sick leave.
In a letter dated January 31, Mashatile dismissed the explanation provided by IPC coordinator Hlomani Chauke about how Kgabo ended up on the list of proportional representation candidates registered with the Electoral Commission of SA and his endorsement as the party’s mayoral candidate.
He said that the ANC in the region had provided a counter-version that “concurred with the findings of the court that they were unprocedural actions that undermined the prescribed national guidelines”.
Mashatile was referring to a judgment handed down in the Johannesburg High Court on December 23 in which the complainant, Mika Mkandawira, won an urgent interdict to declare Kgabo’s appointment as an ANC PR councillor inconsistent with the party’s guidelines for the selection of councillor candidates. His appointment at the municipality was also set aside, pending arguments on the merits of the case.
“I expect the province to proceed to implement the court decision on the matter without fail or delay. I will copy the region to ensure that we all move in one direction,” wrote Mashatile in his letter to Chauke.
However, critics in the IPC told City Press that the report that the region had submitted to Mashatile could not overrule the report of the higher extended IPC, which required agreement from leaders of the alliance partners and the leagues in the finalisation of councillor candidate selection.What will happen now is that the defiance by the rogue councillors in that municipality will be supported by Luthuli House. The region isn’t the final arbiter in terms of deployment.Provincial ANC insider
Another person in the region said the consequences of Mashatile’s decision created room for the rebel councillors to continue with the appointment of a municipal manager allegedly aligned to the EFF.
“Even the oversight committees are chaired by the EFF, but the ANC won the elections,” said the individual.
The ANC is the majority party in the municipality, with 17 councillors.
In his explanation to Mashatile, Chauke said that, at the national executive committee meeting on August 21, the candidate lists – as submitted by the extended IPC – had been rejected because it did not comply with rule six of the ANC constitution, which required a 50% representation of women in all elected portions of council seats, as well as the requirement for 25% youth representation.
“Another extended ANC IPC North West meeting was convened in order to deal with issues as raised by the ANC national executive committee,” said Chauke.
“The ANC Youth League demanded that the meeting consider its lists in terms of 25% youth representation.The name of comrade Gaolatlhe Kgabo was one of those submitted by the youth league in the province and was equally accepted by the meeting.Hlomani Chauke
He said that, during a follow-up meeting of the extended IPC on November 6, Kgabo’s name had been included among the three shortlisted mayoral candidates.
He had subsequently been interviewed by a national executive committee panel, which endorsed his selection as the mayoral candidate for the district municipality. He disputed that Mkandawira’s court application had had any prospect of success.
On Wednesday, Mkandawira lodged an application for an order of contempt of court against Chauke. He applied for a warrant of arrest committing Chauke to six months’ imprisonment, or that such warrant be suspended for two years with a fine of R100 000.
City Press has learnt that the IPC intended to comply with last year’s court order, following Mashatile’s intervention, so the contempt of court application was moot.