The turbulent hung municipality of Metsimaholo in the Free State faces yet another possible leadership change since the 2016 local government elections. Its mayor faces a motion of no confidence in the next week.
The motion against mayor Lindiwe Tshongwe was scheduled to take place on Friday‚ but the council meeting could not quorate because the DA‚ EFF and South African Communist Party did not attend.
The motion against Tshongwe‚ a member of the SACP‚ was brought by the SACP’s coalition partners in council‚ with the ANC said to have given its support to vote Tshongwe out.
The municipality was put under administration and dissolved after its coalition-led government failed to pass its budget for 2017-18. It went to fresh elections in December.
The election marked the first time the SACP had contested for political power against the ANC‚ its alliance partner‚ with trade union federation Cosatu.
Among allegations made to back up the motion against Tshongwe was that she was unable to control members of the mayoral committee.
The motion against her was‚ however‚ preceded by an independent forensic investigation into allegations of misconduct on behalf of the municipality against Steven Molala‚ the suspended municipal manager of Metsimaholo.
The investigation found that there was substance to allegations that Molala committed financial misconduct at the municipality‚ in terms of the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA). The investigation recommended that Molala‚ among other officials‚ be disciplined.
Phillip Kganyago‚ provincial spokesman for the SACP in the Free State‚ said on Monday that the only thing that had triggered the motion of no confidence against the mayor was her determination “in fighting instances of corruption in the municipality”‚ and that the party believed it was linked to the forensic investigation.
He said on Friday that Tshongwe was not present at the meeting as she had been booked off following an operation.
The meeting‚ he said‚ would be rescheduled within the next seven days.