The announcement of the resignation of the executive mayor of the Sol Plaatje Municipality, Mangaliso Matika, left mixed emotions among members of the community, including the ANC, on Monday evening (03/09).
The announcement was made on Monday afternoon where the ANC sang two different tunes in one day.
This follows the tension in which some wards were already up in smoke, with several roads blockaded in preparation of another serious shutdown protest.
That took place while supporters of Matika gathered outside the ANC’s provincial offices, singing and chanting in his support while a press conference was in progress inside.
The ANC has been accused of not having the interest of its people at heart, with threats that it stands to lose support in the upcoming 2019 elections.
The ANC was reportedly engaged in urgent special provincial executive committee meetings throughout the weekend after it was given two days to remove Matika.
On Wednesday (29/08) Matika claimed victory when the Northern Cape High Court ruled in his favour that the special council meeting to remove him in a vote of no confidence, was illegal and void.
This meeting was held on Wednesday, 25 July, by opposition parties, with the support of 11 ANC councillors.
Earlier in the day, the ANC held a media briefing addressed by the National Executive Committee convener of the province, Collen Maine, who shifted the attention to Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas.
Threats were made that Lucas stands the risk of being removed instead of Matika, accusing her of being the key figure behind the escalating shutdown protests.
ANC provincial secretary Deshi Ngxanga said the branches embraced Matika’s resignation and that it was not because he is guilty.
“A good leader knows when to leave,” emphasised Webster Dichaba, regional secretary of the Francis Baard Region during an interview on Revival FM.
Welcoming Matika’s resignation, DA leader Andrew Louw said residents of Kimberley and the majority of Sol Plaatje councillors lost confidence in Matika long ago.
“He mismanaged municipal funds, manipulated municipal business in favour of his friends and abused resources to sustain a luxury lifestyle. All this was done at an unwarranted cost to residents, and at the expense of service delivery and the local economy,” Louw said.
The community is now waiting for the announcement of the new Sol Plaatje mayor, while the clean-up operation is underway.
Tumelo Mosikare, community spokesperson, says they will not impose the council on who to elect.
“The next step is to encourage the community to support the new mayor, who is expected to deliver.
“We will also start working on our outstanding demands to find a way forward towards a better municipality,” said Mosikare.