By Libuseng Nyaka
QWAQWA – The 16 former councillors who were expelled from the ruling African National Congress (ANC) have acknowledged the party’s olive branch, but say it comes too little too late as they have already moved on.
“We are not going to betray the people of Maluti-a-Phofung by going back to the ANC. The social pact we have with them, we will see through and honor it,” said MAP16 convener Paratlane Motloung in a media statement.
The 16 councillors’ expulsion stemmed from 2018, when they were accused of voting with opposition parties to oust ex-mayor, Vusi Tshabalala, in a secret ballot vote of no-confidence piloted by the Economic Freedom Fighter’s Mahlomamola Majake, now member of the Free State Legislature.
The 16 expelled councillors fought for their stay in the ANC in court but lost. While awaiting the outcome of their appeal they contested by-elections as independent candidates and won 10 seats, leaving the ANC with five of the contested 15 wards. The 16th was a proportional representation seat and no contestation was required. They later regroup and formed the MAP16 Civic Movement. Two years later Appeal court ruled in their favour , pronounced that the expulsion was unlawful because PEC that decided on their fate was illegal. This has since been replace by IPC.
Noting the apology of the newly installed Interim Provincial Committee (IPC), MAP16 questioned the sudden change of heart by Paseka Nompondo, the then secretary of PEC, who spearheaded their expulsion. Nompodo is currently the coordinator of the IPC.
“It is also disappointing that people like Paseka Nompondo could be part of a noble gesture like this, when we know that he started the process of expelling the said councillors and, more than anything, motivated by hatred, his and others’ interest in the resources of Maluti-a-Phofung.”
The MAP16 Civic Movement y have already tested their support on May 19 by-elections when they appeared the second after winner ANC.
“MAP16 is founded on solid ground and enjoys the support of the majority of the people of Maluti-a-Phofung local municipality and looks forward to fulfilling the anticipated takeover of the local municipality in the forthcoming local government elections scheduled for October 27,2021,” said Motloung.
The Movement’s response came after the ANC IPC, during its first meeting held on June 1-2, apologized to the expelled members and announced that they have since written to the mother body to request their expulsion to be revoked because their expulsion was not justified.