By Bongani Mdakane
The executive mayor of Emfuleni local municipality, Gift Moerane, turned tables on the mayoral committee and the political management team when he lifted the suspension of municipal manager Lucky Leseane.
Sunday World is in possession of a letter written by Moerane, dated September 18, confirming the withdrawal of the suspension of Leseane.
The mayor is quoted saying in the letter to Leseane: “I have reconsidered the implementation of the council decision regarding your precautionary suspension. I have also been favoured with the legal opinion advising against the unlawful and irregular decision taken by the municipal council in instructing the executive mayor to place you on suspension without following proper due process.”
Leseane reported back to work on Tuesday, however, his return angered some councillors and opposition parties to push for Moerane’s removal from his mayoral seat at a special seating of the council on Wednesday.
Insiders within the council claim the EFF and DA had 18 votes in favour of the removal of the mayor, while ANC councillors saved him with 38 votes, which allowed him to stay at the helm of the troubled municipality.
“There was an orchestrated plan hatched by some of the ANC members who are angry that the mayor had lifted the suspension of Lucky and they wanted to get rid of him. These councillors colluded with some leaders of the opposition parties to remove the mayor, but things went south,” said our source.
Sunday World has also learned that last month, the ANC regional task team in Sedibeng had proposed a reshuffling of the Emfuleni mayoral committee and the political management team, however, that proposal was allegedly shot down by the ANC’s provincial team.
In a voice note, the Emfuleni spokesperson responded: “It’s incorrect to say the mayor has overturned the decision of the council on suspension of the municipal manager … by agreement, the mayor had told the municipal manager to be at home, and that’s not suspension. Another point, the mayor has no power to overturn the resolution of the council.”
EFF leader Mzwakhe Mapeyi said the party put a motion of no confidence against the mayor on issues of service delivery. DA leader Tebogo Tlokwe said the party wants Moerane out. “He’s an absent mayor and corruption has persisted under his watch.”
ANC provincial Secretary in Gauteng, Jacob Khawe, the party needed to work with the region to stabilize the municipality.
“We have agreed with the deployment of the administrator and support team by the province. This should help stabilize the administration and at the political level Emfuleni is a priority. I will avoid commenting on smear campaign against each of our comrades in the region,” Khawe said.