by Andrew Louw – DA Northern Cape Provincial Leader
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Date: 27 May 2018
The DA is calling on Sol Plaatje Mayor, Mangaliso Matika, to step down with immediate effect. This comes after last week’s surprise axing of Sol Plaatje Speaker, Elizabeth Johnson, by the ANC Regional Executive Committee.
Matika is increasingly holding Council hostage and compromising Sol Plaatje municipality.
Matika previously used his influence to prevent Johnson from doing her job. This was evident in the way in which he manipulated council agendas and proactively saw to it that the opposition was silenced.
Now, Matika has used his clout to conveniently have Johnson removed from office in what the DA strongly suspects is an effort to strengthen his hold on the municipality for his personal gain.
Matika has time and again come into the spotlight for his self serving behavior.
He recently had the municipality purchase a Q7 mayoral vehicle, valued at over R1 million. This is in spite of an increasing need for investment in municipal fleet. If Matika really cared about service delivery, he would have bought a cheaper vehicle and allowed the difference to be allocated towards rather procuring a municipal truck, that can cost anything between R2 million and R3 million.
Matika is under suspicion for receiving irregular housing benefits. In this regard, the municipality has been facilitating the rental of the Mayor’s personal accommodation in Henry Schmidt Street despite the fact that the rental agreement of the mayor’s house was never approved by Council. Sol Plaatje municipality also purchased over R160 000 worth of furnishings for the mayor’s house, including a TV, curtains, a hi-fi, crystal ware and kitchen ware.
Matika is also known to abuse his prior knowledge of the disposal of certain erven, that are specifically intended for purchase by Previously Disadvantaged Individuals (PDI’s), to the advantage of himself and his cronies. Once such instance is the sale of a prime plot in Southridge to the Provincial Police Commissioner, Risimati Shivuri.
Matika’s actions are indicative of a bully, strengthening his circle of power so that he can accelerate his personal agenda.
The DA challenges the ANC’s regional secretary, Webster Dichaba, who was last week quoted as saying that “corrupt and selfish deployees will be recalled by the party if they are found to have violated the code of conduct as set out in the municipal laws” to put his money where his mouth is and also act against Matika.
As long as the ANC fails to act against Matika, it proves that Ramaphosa’s ANC is no different to Zuma’s ANC and, that as long as the ANC governs, state looting will continue to be the order of the day.
Only Change by a DA-run government in 2019 and 2021 respectively, will bring the order and stability so deeply desired by local residents of Kimberley.