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Wednesday, October 28, 2020
16.1 C

    Mayor appears in court

    “She does not show any leadership towards GMM and the ratepayers. She is supposed to lead by example but since she came into power our Eskom and Rand Water bills do not get paid.”

    The mayor of Govan Mbeki Municipality appeared before Magistrate Senekal on Wednesday 17 October 2018. Unfortunately, the Magistrate had to attend court in Charl Cilliers and asked that the case be postponed until 28 November 2018.
    On the morning of Wednesday 20 June, Jane Gwebu, a municipal official, laid charges against Councillor Thandi Ngxonono, GMM’s executive mayor. In tears, Gwebu retold the story of her assault at the mayor’s hands.
    “She sent her secretary to call me to her office, where she ordered me to sit down,” Gwebu said. Gwebu continued to say that the mayor was “hot-headed” and swore at her, calling her derogatory names and even slapping Ms Gwebu.
    “She told me that she is the mayor whether I like it or not and she is tired of me going around and talking about her to our other colleagues,” Gwebu said.
    When the news hit the public, social media was abuzz with comments on Councillor Ngxonono’s character. One social media user said that “she is well known for being a bully”, while others said that she has always had a temper, as far back as her days as a teacher at KI Twala Secondary school, where she allegedly used to hit her students. The general attitude of the public indicated that readers were not at all surprised.
    In the Eastern Cape, a mayor was immediately suspended when there were allegations and charges laid for assault.
    The ANC in Govan Mbeki Municipality rather showed their support for the mayor. The ANC Women’s league is strangely quiet about the incident.
    There had been continual pressure from opposition parties to remove Cllr Tandiwe Ngxonono from office.
    “There were several occasions where political parties wanted the mayor out due to no confidence in her,” said Cllr Aranda Nel-Buitendach of the FF+, “She does not show any leadership towards GMM and the ratepayers. She is supposed to lead by example but since she came into power our Eskom and Rand Water bills do not get paid.”
    Cllr Ciska Jordaan, Caucus leader of the Democratic Alliance made the following statement: “It is to our disappointment as the Democratic Alliance that the case was postponed to the 28th of November. It is alleged that she had slapped an official during an attempt to apparently reprimand her. The fact that this should have been a mandate of the then Acting Municipal Manager, solely indicates that she has violated the code of conduct for councillors stipulated in the systems act. In addition, we condemn in the utmost the allegations of a violent act against a woman, that she is accused of having committed. The DA has repeatedly called for her immediate suspension since the case has been opened against her. We are of the opinion that she is unable to carry out her duties impartially as the leader of this municipality, while it is alleged that she has assaulted a person and while she has this pending court case hanging above her head.
    However, the ANC has consistently disregarded our proposals of suspension and refuses to look into the breach of the code of conduct.
    Violence within the ANC is apparent throughout the country and seems to be rising closer to the 2019 NPE. Besides, this matter further impacts the negative image of the Govan Mbeki Municipality It is clear that the rule of law does not exist within the ruling party, that there is no accountability for the actions of their members and public representatives and that this is a clear depiction of the manner that they poorly govern.
    We sympathise with all victims of abuse and will continue to follow the case against the executive mayor and raise awareness on the matter.
    The people of Govan Mbeki deserve exemplary leadership that will put its people first by living out the values of Freedom, Fairness, Opportunity and Diversity for All.”
    Voices within the ANC are now starting to surface calling for her removal.
    SAPROMO have submitted a new motion of no confidence asking for her removal. This is expected to serve before the council in a sitting on 25 October 2018.
    Cllr Hlolweni, President of SAPROMO, said in an earlier statement: “These allegations do not just tarnish her image, but that of the municipality as well. The municipality is already in shame for several things happening within the institution, and this is dragging the municipality further down.
    It is said that the mayor was involved with employees, which she shouldn’t have done in the first place. She is not an administrator, but a political head. It is not for her to reprimand employees as they are not reporting to her. Her’s is to report every kind of bad behaviour to the municipal manager, who should deal with his employees. This means some people do not understand their roles and it is very embarrassing. If the head is confused the whole body cannot operate properly.
    In the meantime, SAPROMO suggest that an acting mayor is appointed to give Ngxonono some time to deal with the court case. We cannot have the leader who has a cloud hanging over her. We love the current mayor as a person, but we cannot sacrifice the integrity of this institution.”
    It is clear that storms are brewing within the ANC as well as the council as a whole.
    Tensions are running high and every council meeting is turning into a big verbal fight as the ANC refuses to adhere to suggestions by opposition parties, steamrolling their own agenda over good governance and logic.

    Mayor appears in court