Accusations, court threats add drama to Tshwane metro politics

ActionSA councillor Kgosietsile Kgosiemang has been named as one of the DA-led multi-party coalition councillors who were allegedly offered a bribe to vote for ANC-EFF alliance candidate Murunwa Makwarela during the election for mayor in Tshwane in February.

It is alleged that Kgosiemang was approached by Defence of the People (DoP) councillors who attempted to induce him to defy the coalition’s instruction to vote for DA’s Cilliers Brink.

ActionSA Gauteng provincial chairperson, Funzi Ngobeni, joined by the party’s national chairperson Michael Beaumont, opened a criminal case of bribery against the councillors at the Olievenhoutbosch police station on Thursday.

In an affidavit which Sunday World has seen, Kgosiemang confirmed that the DoP councillors attempted to bribe him.

“On Saturday, 25th February 2023, I was approached by councillor Mokone, a PR councillor for Defence of the People to discuss the resignation of the executive mayor of CoT [City of Tshwane],” reads the affidavit in part.

“In his discussion, he mentioned that I may consider voting for Dr Murunwa Makwarela as mayor of the CoT. He mentioned that I could be offered an equivalent of my salary as MMC for the remaining term through to 2026 until the next elections. I did not accept the offer.”

The Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act of 2004 stipulates that “any person who, directly or indirectly, gives or agrees or offers to give any gratification to a member of the legislative authority, whether for the benefit of that member or for the benefit of another, is guilty of the offence of corrupt activities relating to members of the legislative authority”.

According to Ngobeni, the bribe was worth over R2-million.

“We allege that ahead of the vote for the new City of Tshwane executive mayor in February, our councillor was approached to vote in favour of the ANC-aligned candidate and that he would be rewarded with money equivalent to his annual salary until 2026, which equates to roughly R2-million,” Ngobeni said.

“Given that it has emerged that Dr Makwarela appears to have falsified documents in order to unlawfully remain in office, we are not surprised that inducements are alleged to have been offered in order to install him as executive mayor in the first place.

“As such, the South African Police Service must investigate this matter fully and mete out justice in an effort to restore confidence, law, and order in the running of South Africa’s capital.”

Speaking to Sunday World on Thursday, an agitated Mokone repudiated the claims of bribery and said he is consulting his lawyers to plot a way forward.

“I am so mad right now, because this guy is defaming me with his lies. This is defamation of character, I am definitely going to take him to the cleaners with the lawsuit that I will be instituting very soon,” Mokone said.

“Clearly, he wants to give me money I do not have, and I feel angry that he implicates me in this serious crime. It is impossible for me to bribe him with only one seat in the council, also I do not have that kind of money.

“This guy and ActionSA are trying to tarnish my name. In politics, parties come up with many tactics to diminish other parties, that is the only reason I think they are targeting me.

“Kgosiamang has a black cloud hanging over him, as he is being investigated for corruption of R3-million, and on top of that, he has the audacity to accuse me of trying to bribe him. He is talking nonsense. I am busy with my lawyers to deal with his lies.

While many have said Kgosiemang is a man with a fondness for money, Ngobeni has said that he reported the bribe. Ngobeni also confirmed that he passed the lie detector test which sought to distinguish between those who voted for Makwarela. 

Ngobeni said: “Councillor Kgosiamang has not been found guilty of the R2.5-million deal and the investigation is continuing by the City of Tshwane.

“No ActionSA councillor has been found guilty of corruption, and as a party committed to ethical leadership, all our councillors actively report wrongdoing when they see it.”

Tshwane in turmoil

The recent efforts by the ANC-EFF alliance to take control of the city’s administration appear to be doing more harm than good for the people of the city.

Caught in the crossfire of the power struggle between the political factions, the residents of Tshwane are facing significant challenges that are hindering progress and development.

Currently, Tshwane is experiencing a significant political leadership crisis due to inter-party and intra-party power struggles.

There have been a number of issues contributing to the situation, including the use of a fraudulent court notice in order to facilitate the reinstatement of Makwarela.

And then there was the DA’s ballot-rigging stunt that saw their candidate lose to the ANC-EFF bloc due to spoilt votes.

These are some of the challenges that followed the resignation of Randall Williams, who was deemed ineffective at addressing the city’s challenges.

Election of new mayor

Vanessa de Sousa, spokesperson for the speaker in Tshwane, has confirmed that the council will convene for a special meeting on Friday in which a new mayor will be elected.

However, another cloud of election fraud hangs over councillors.

On Monday, the multi-party coalition’s disorderly behaviour resulted in their failure to take control of the city.

Kholofelo Morodi, a candidate from ActionSA, was expected to receive the backing of the coalition comprising the DA, her party, Freedom Front Plus, ACDP, and IFP, but was ultimately defeated by Mncedi Ndzwanana of the African Transformation Movement in the race for the position of speaker.

Out of 211 votes cast, Ndzwanana received 105 votes and Morodi garnered 37.

However, due to a dispute that arose during the secret ballot vote, where two DA councillors revealed their choices, 69 votes were disqualified by the Electoral Commission (IEC) after the voting process was deemed compromised.

The disputed ballots were isolated after the IEC declared that voting was not conducted in a free and fair manner.

The coalition has subsequently lodged a formal objection to the IEC’s decision to disqualify the 69 votes which, according to them, were for Morodi.

According to the DA’s Jacqui Uys, the IEC has not responded to the complaint.

“Video footage shows how the DA’s Shane Maas, our party agent in the election for speaker, was attacked from behind and kicked by ANC councillor Joel Masilela,” said Uys.

“Several charges of assault lodged against Masilela by fellow councillors since 2016 have all been ignored by the police.

“The ANC-EFF candidate for speaker was declared the winner after 69 votes cast for his opponent, Kholofelo Morodi of ActionSA, were deemed as ‘spoilt’ by the IEC. Had the 69 votes not been declared irregular, then Morodi would’ve won.”

Uys explained further: “When announcing the result, IEC-appointed presiding officer Rosina Mkhondo told the municipal council that her decision to invalidate the 69 votes would have no material effect on the outcome of the election – a bizarre and patently false statement.

“Although party agents from the DA, ActionSA and the Freedom Front Plus registered formal objections to the decision of the IEC, to this day none of the party agents has received a response to our objection.”

She said it is dangerous for the election to be scheduled on the same day that the ANC plans to protest, stating that the speaker’s decision in this regard seems like a calculated move to enable the ANC-EFF alliance.

Uys confirmed that Brink has written to the speaker’s office requesting a postponement of the election for mayor until the chaos have settled down.

On Thursday, the EFF caucus said it will lay a charge of electoral fraud against Brink, Uys and Katlego Mokgaleng at the Pretoria central police station.

The trio is accused of contravening the Municipal Structures Act 117 of 1998 and the Electoral Act 73 of 1998.

“Cilliers Brink, Jacqui Uys and Katlego Makgaleng instructed all 69 DA councillors to vote using numbers assigned to individual councillors,” said EFF regional chairperson in a statement on Thursday.

“This was intended to identify the candidate that all DA councilors voted for in the secret ballot. This constitutes fraud in a secret ballot process, as such the law must take its course.”

To read more political news and views, click here.

Follow @SundayWorldZA on Twitter and @sundayworldza on Instagram, or like our Facebook Page, Sunday World, by clicking here for the latest breaking news in South Africa. To Subscribe to Sunday World, click here


Latest News