Motion of no confidence in Metsimaholo mayor postponed

The South African Communist Party (SACP) says it is ready to debate the motion of no confidence against Metsimaholo Mayor Lindiwe Tshongwe, who is a member of the party.

Speaking after the motion was postponed on Friday, Free State party spokesperson Phillip Kganyago said that if it was to go forward, the party would be ready to engage.

"We don’t think the motion is substantive, but if it goes ahead, the SACP is ready to debate," Kganyago said.

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The motion, which was scheduled to take place on Friday, could not go ahead as several parties did not attend the council meeting to form a quorum. Tshongwe was also not present, as she is booked off sick.

"It has also been known that the executive mayor has been off sick for about two weeks," Kganyago added.

He maintained that the motion was instituted against Tshongwe because of her "determination of instituting a forensic investigation that had shown widespread corruption within the municipality".

"We are already aware of some amongst those people, who submitted their support for the motion, withdrawing. This could mean that this motion might even be withdrawn, because it’s really not a reality. It’s a diversion from the efforts of the mayor in fighting corruption," he said.

'No control' over mayoral committee

The SACP leads the municipality, in coalition with the ANC, MCA, FSD and AIC.

The Metsimaholo Community Association (MCA), the Forum for Service Delivery (FSD) and the African Independent Congress (AIC) in August filed a motion of no confidence against Tshongwe, accusing her of having "no control" over her mayoral committee.

The motion is also supported by the ANC.

"If those that filed the motion still have the courage of their conviction, the SACP is ready to go and debate the motion if they bring it forward again," Kganyago said.

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He added that all the issues that were being raised by those calling for the motion were, in the SACP's view, issues that could be raised "on the table for resolutions".

The Metsimaholo municipality was dissolved in July 2017 when the council failed to pass the budget, following disagreements in the coalition. It was forced to hold by-elections in December. At the time, the MCA had the mayor position, in coalition with the DA and supported by the EFF.

During the December elections there was again no outright winner, which led to another coalition government being formed to run the municipality.

The meeting has been rescheduled for next week Friday, Kganyago said.