by Andrew Louw – DA Northern Cape Provincial Leader
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Date: 05 June 2018
The exposure of pending criminal charges against new Frances Baard Mayor, Patrick Marekwa, have seriously increased the DA’s reservations against him to successfully lead the district municipality.
Marekwa stands accused on a charge of culpable homicide. In this regard, Marekwa is accused of knocking over and killing a pedestrian in Barkley West, last year. Marekwa is also facing an older charge of sexual assault after allegedly fondling a victim in Galeshewe, Kimberley, a few years ago. Both charges have yet to be finalized in a court of law.
Marekwa was sworn in as Mayor just over a week ago to replace Virginia Buyiswa Ximba. Unlike Marekwa, Ximba is not facing any criminal charges.
Marekwa is not the first Northern Cape mayor to be facing criminal charges.
Sol Plaatje Mayor, Mangaliso Matika, was criminally charged with assault after he physically attacked a staff member in his own office last year. The person sustained injuries to his eyes and behind his ears.
Hantam Mayor, Roger Swartz, is facing a charge of crimen injuria after he called pregnant DA councillor, Gizella Opperman, a liar and violently shouted and swore at her in the Hantam municipal offices earlier this year. Swartz also faces a charge of assault after he hit DA councillor, Jeannette-Anne Steenkamp, on the back during the same tirade in which he verbally attacked Opperman. Both cases against Swartz are pending.
It is unbecoming for ANC politicians, in such high profile positions, to find themselves implicated in various forms of violence. Yet the ANC refuses to take action and still sees fit to field such dubious characters as high profile public representatives.
The ANC’s tacit condoning of such unacceptable conduct in the public space is worrying indeed. Our public administration should under no circumstances be compromised by a government that turns a blind eye to violence against women, and other crimes.
The DA suspects that there is increasing collusion within the ANC to centralize power in the hands of a few connected individuals. This is encouraging the “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” type of behavior which has nothing to do with service delivery and everything to do with creating a tyrannical fiefdom in the Northern Cape.
In the meantime, municipalities are falling apart. They desperately need stability that is underpinned by integrity, responsibility and accountability but they are increasingly burdened with unscrupulous politicians.
It is clear that much needed order in the Northern Cape will never be restored by an ANC government.
Only change under a DA-led government in 2019, will halt the political chaos that is unapologetically violating service delivery to all the people of the Northern Cape.
DA Northern Cape Provincial Leader
082 383 6914
Shelley De Witt
082 847 1387