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Opposition parties to oust Limpopo mayor fails

Opposition parties in the Democratic Alliance (DA) led-Lephalale local municipality in Limpopo failed to remove Nico Pienaar as mayor on Wednesday.

This after a plan by the ANC and the EFF to topple Pienaar during the watershed special council sitting failed.

Pienaar had been accused of being responsible for the council’s dismal performance in the books of the auditor-general in the last financial year.

Irregular expenditure

The council had incurred R107 million wasteful expenditure and R37 million irregular expenditure.

Pienaar was elected Lephalale local municipality boss in October last year after the ANC‘s provincial executive committee (PEC) in Limpopo fielded an alleged weak councillor, Aaron Mokgehle. Pienaar is trusted by many in the opposition to take the municipality to new heights.

But others dislike him with a passion.

“He is a slow thinker, lacks leadership and under him, this municipality will never grow,” Mosonya Semenya, EFF council caucus leader, said after the council meeting.

Motion suspended

The motion was suspended owing to the failure by the ANC to follow certain legislative prescripts. The matter will be heard again on 14 February.

This disappointed the ANC supporters who were watching the proceedings in the council municipal gallery. Some nearly burst into tears after learning that Pienaar will continue to lead the municipality as mayor for the next 19 days.

ANC and EFF councillors then called on for the suspension of one of their own.

Speaker of the council, Grace Morakalala, who had been investigated by the ANC’s ethics committee on allegations of corruption, amounting to over R300 000, was their next target.

The EFF, led by Semenya, had earlier tabled a motion of no confidence against her. The party accused the speaker of having irregularly spent R308 000 on a municipal petrol card without council authorisation.

According to documents in possession of the EFF, read in council, the speaker allegedly withdrew R15 000 almost every month from November 2021 to July 2022. This was seen by many as an abuse of the public purse.

In light of this, the council, led by the ANC’s Lesibana Monareng, gave the speaker special leave, following the recommendations by the ethics committee.

“Good riddance,” said Semenya.

The EFF was worried that some of the ANC bigwigs still wanted to promote corruption by protecting the speaker, Semenya said. “We want the speaker to feel what it is like to be a backbencher.”

READ MORE: ‘Self-inflicted wound’ – ANC councillors vote for DA mayor in Lephalale

from The Citizen https://www.citizen.co.za/news/opposition-parties-to-oust-limpopo-mayor-fails-january-2023/

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