The Guard

The Truth On Board

Melato replaces Lakaje Mosia as mayor

By Emily Setona

QWAQWA – ANC councillor ‘Malekula Melato is the new executive mayor of Maluti-a-Phofung (MAP) replacing Masetjhaba Lakaje Mosia who confirmed her resignation.

The move left the council and councillors with no choice but to bitterly accept the decision.
The special council sitting that was held in the MAP council chamber on 20 June concluded with 68 councillors voting for a new executive mayor after ANC councillor Masetjhaba Lakaje Mosia confirmed to the council that she has indeed resigned from her position as executive mayor after her political party instructed her to do so.

Melato was nominated alongside MAP16 civic movement’s Paratlane Motloung, and after much debate the councillors agreed to vote through a secret ballot after Motloung quoted to them the legal framework of appointing an executive mayor when the previous one resigns.
The request from some councillors to vote through a show of hands was immediately abandoned after considering the legal framework outlined by Motloung.
Out of 68 votes, 5 ballots were spoiled, 28 ballots went to Motloung giving the position of executive mayor to Melato who received 35 votes.

In her acceptance speech, Melato extended her gratitude to Lakaje Mosia for holding the fort during a trying time of the municipality.
“I am handed a daunting task and responsibility to lead this municipality at a time when our beloved country has celebrated 30 years of freedom and democracy, on the 27th of April 2024. A time when people had an opportunity to reflect on the many battles they had to endure to survive and succeed in the past 30 years.

“Yes, a lot has been done, yet a lot still needs to be done. What neexs to be done now is redefining the new journey of restoration for service delivery!
“I am handed the baton at a crucial time when the municipal council: Has tabled its IDP and adopts a budget within sixty days before the beginning of its new financial year which is the 1st of July 2024. At a time when the administration is leaderless, when key senior management positions, remain vacant. At a time when the administration is unstable and employee morale low. At a time when the municipality remains financially constrained and indebted.

At a time when the Auditor General of South Africa (AGSA) reports for the past years show consistent recurring failures by the municipality to comply with applicable laws. At a time when the municipality is failing to meet its financial obligations to Eskom, bulk suppliers, and other creditors,” Melato said in her acceptance speech.

Newly elected Executive mayor of Maluti-A-Phofung local municipality Maleku Melato.

Council chief whip Moeketsi Lebesa strongly echoed the sentiments of the representatives from all political parties represented in the MAP council when he said:

“When you want to see if a leader is weak, choose them for a position of leadership then turn your back on them and don’t give them support, but when you want to see if a leader is strong, choose them for a position of leadership and then stand beside them and support them. To the new executive mayor, you will succeed only because of the support you will receive from all 70 councillors of this municipality, and you will fail only if we do not support you.”