The Guard

The Truth On Board

Two parties dump Map coalition govt

By Masilo Malakwane

QWAQWA – Cracks have started showing in the new Maluti-a-Phofung government, after two members of the coalition withdrew from the governing bloc, accusing the majority Map16 Civic Movement of making decisions without engaging them.

The pair are Lebohang Rapuleng of the All Unemployed Labour Alliance and Sarko ‘s Napo Letlaka.

Rapuleng was a Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) responsible for local economic development (LED) and has since been replaced by Brigete Lebesa of the Dikwankwetla Party of South Africa (DPSA). He fired a broadside at the Map16-led coalition government, and went on to claim the ANC administration was a better devil.

He made this statement just before he announced the party’s withdrawal from the coalition.

In an interview with The Guard on Monday, Rapuleng expressed his displeasure at the opposition parties’ decision to withdraw no-confidence motions against the administration. He alleged the current administration was enmeshed in corruption, which he said he does not want to be part of.

“I will play my role as an oversight player. I personally wanted these motions of no-confidence against the Troika to go ahead. In the few months of this coalition, key municipality decisions are made by the Executive Mayor and the Council Speaker alone without our knowledge. We hardly got invited to some of the municipal activities and only got to witness them via social media platforms.”

His resignation as MMC for LED in MAP came after a surprising turn of events in Maluti-a-Phofung local municipality council, which saw opposition parties – the ANC and ACM – withdrawing their respective motions of no-confidence against the MAP Troika at Phuthaditjhaba multipurpose hall on Monday.

Letlaka shared Rapuleng’s sentiments.  

However, Map16-MAP Executive Mayor Gilbert Tjhopo Mokotso told this publication that Rapuleng had not officially handed his resignation as MMC, except a WhatsApp text expressing his gratitude for working with the coalition in the past three months.

Mokotso said, after this, he consulted with the other coalition members and resolved that Rapuleng be released from duty.

“Counsellor Rapuleng was acting strangely and was seen colluding with the other parties that were behind the motions of no confidence against us, so we decided to meet him half and release him.”   

Regarding Letlaka resignation, Mokotso said the reason pertains to power.

“You will remember that councillor Letlaka joined us in January after we had already appointed members of the mayoral committee, but we were still going to appoint him to be part of section 79 – another influential position where he was going to be answerable to council directly, not the executive mayor.

“When we entered office on November 23, he did not even participate because he only joined the council in January; but we still have other members who will occupy that position.”

Outgoing MMC for LED Lebohang Rapuleng.

Responding to the allegations of corruption and discrimination in the employment of staff, Mokotso said members know that such actions must be reported to the nearest police station for investigation.

“We are fighting corruption. If Councillor Rapuleng‘s claims were true surely he should have opened a case at the nearby police station.

On discriminatory employment, Mokotso said since taking over the reins, no employment has been made, particularly at Map Water where such allegations are said to be happening.

“We have only filled political offices of mayor, speaker and chief whip.”