Thursday, 13 December 2018

ANC on the Expulsion of Nine Councillors that were Deployed to Sol Plaatje

THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS ON THE EXPULSION OF NINE COUNCILLORS

The African National Congress has noted recent commentary that has sought to distort the process that was followed leading to the expulsion of the nine ANC Councillors deployed to the Sol-Plaatje Local Municipality after a laborious political process that sought to engage and deal with the matter in order to resolve it amicably.

The ANC in the Frances Baard Region and Province sought to, on countless occasions, engage with the recalcitrant Councillor’s following what it had termed the need to engage with the matter of the community protests and “acting” in the best interest of the community in the matter. This is in spite of the fact that the Provincial Leadership was engaging community representative on the matter related to the R260 levy that the municipality had wanted to charge and the high unit cost of electricity charged by the municipality. These Councillor’s had connived, together with the opposition, to remove a deployee of the ANC in a Special Council Meeting which the Kimberley High Court found to have been illegally constituted and of no force and effect.

The Regional Executive Committee took a decision to charge the 11 Councillors in accordance with Rule 25 of the Constitution of the ANC in particular Rule 25.4 “the ANC shall have jurisdiction to discipline any member, office bearer or public representative for committing any act of misconduct as contained in Rule 25.17 below as a member of the ANC and/or by virtue of his or her contract of deployment and/or by virtue of his or her membership of any of the structures of the ANC”. This was done having satisfied the requirements of Rule 25.10 of the same Constitution.

The affected Councillor’s, bar two i.e. Cde Sammy Mpampi and Cde Pulane Kwagile had requested postponements for varying reasons, were proffered with charges related to contravention/s of different sections of Rule 25 of the ANC Constitution. The date, time and venue of the disciplinary hearings were communicated to the different members in their individual capacities since we all join the ANC as individuals and not as part of a group.

The first 2 hearings were postponed due to a variety of reasons, which among others included, the disruptions in Kimberley. A pre-conference hearing was held as provided for by the ANC Constitution Appendix 3 at which point documents were exchanged and some procedural matters dispensed with. A duly constituted Regional Disciplinary Committee hearing was convened on the 17th October 2018.

The representative of the affected members was present including two other charged members Mr Pius Tshite and Cde P. Kwagile. The representative of the affected persons then recused himself from the proceedings when he did not agree with the ruling of the RDC Chairperson on a number of points in limine. 

It must be stated that all other members had, at all material times, stayed away from proceedings despite the Constitution requiring them to be present at all hearings even though you may have a representative unless you have been duly excused by the Chairperson.

This behaviour on it’s own showed flagrant disregard for the ANC processes and it’s constitutional provisions. The matter proceeded and was dispensed with in accordance with provisions of Appendix 3 of the ANC Constitution and an outcome announced on the 26th October 2018 as required by Section 64 of Appendix 3 of the ANC Constitution after most members were served with the outcome of the disciplinary hearing on the 25th October 2018.

The above then meant that Rule 25.36 “Any member, found guilty by a disciplinary Committee shall have the right to within 21 (twenty-one) days from the date of the public announcement of the ruling and sanction, to appeal against the finding or sanction or both to the next higher Disciplinary Committee”. In accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of the ANC, the Provincial Disciplinary Committee had, at the close of business on 16th November 2018, not received any appeal for the affected members and as such the sanction of the RDC stands.

It is on these basis that the ANC had written to the Acting Municipal Manager at Sol-Plaatje Municipality wherein we requested that they declare vacancies in accordance with the Municipal Structures Act 117 of 1998 Section 27 (C) which states the following “a councillor vacates office during a term of office if that councillor was elected from a Party list referred to in Schedule 1 or 2 and ceases to be a member of the relevant Party”.

The nine councillors in question have ceased to be members of the African National Congress and can therefore no longer represent the ANC at the Sol Plaatje Municipality. We have had to come to this unprecedented action after numerous engagements with them by the Officials of the ANC in the Province and with the National Executive Committee deployees. It is therefore misleading and mischievous to want to invoke public sympathy through the perpetuation of falsehoods and abusing genuine community grievances for improved service delivery to advance narrow self-interest through collusion with the opposition.

It is important to note that the Independent Electoral Commission has declared the vacancies in the seven wards, which are all located in Galeshewe. We will commence with the organisational processes to identify ward candidates that will represent the ANC in the by-election in February 2019. We therefore call on all ANC members and supporters to diligently engage with such internal processes to ensure that we identify candidates that observe organisational discipline and will serve their communities wholeheartedly.

 

Issued by the African National Congress- Northern Cape

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