Embattled Sol Plaatje mayor Mangaliso Matika resigns

Sol Plaatjie Mayor Mangaliso Matika has resigned, the ANC in the Northern Cape confirmed on Monday.  

This, after the community of Kimberly went berserk in July, looting shops and vandalising government infrastructure as they demanded Matika's resignation.

That same month, the Northern Cape High Court ordered Matika to vacate his office with immediate effect after the DA in the province filed an urgent application for an interdict. The DA wanted the outcome of a special council meeting, in which a motion of no confidence in Matika had been passed, to be upheld.

The ANC in the region said it had been in "constant engagement" with Matika, the leadership of the regional executive committee and branches of the party following the judgment.  

The party welcomed Matika's resignation "in the interest of the community" and "in order to ensure that his name is not used in the looting, burning, [and] inconvenience caused to our community".

"We respect him for taking the decision that he has taken and know that he will continue to lead the ANC in the region as the chairperson," provincial secretary Deshi Ngxanga said in a statement, adding that they would initiate internal processes to get a "suitable" replacement for the mayor. 

The party said its regional executive committee would provide its provincial executive committee (PEC) with three names, in order of priority, and the names would be processed, he said.

"Thereafter, we will announce the name of the ANC comrade who will be the mayor of the Sol Plaatje Municipality. 

"We therefore, appeal to members of the community to allow the ANC space and time to deal with this process. We appeal to our communities to desist from any violent activities and to allow our children who are writing tests, and importantly matriculants, who are writing their preliminary examinations, [to continue uninterrupted]."

Matika said at a press conference that his resignation was in the best interests of the community, Netwerk24 reported.