Opposition parties call for new Mangaung mayor

Mangaung Metro Municipality Photo: Pierce van Heerden
Calls for the embattled Mangaung Metro Municipality (MMM) to elect the new executive mayor are now mounting with the opposition parties leading the charge.

OFM News reports that the call by the FF Plus, EFF and DA comes a month and a few weeks after the ousting of former mayor Olly Mlamleli. The FF Plus caucus leader in the council, Elizabeth Snyman Van Deventer, tells OFM News that a metro without a mayor is like a ship without a captain while the DA’s Hardie Vivier says currently the political arm of the municipality is in limbo.

The EFF’s Beverly Marais has also reacted and says the metro needs a competent mayor who is not only in it for the money [but should be involved in all issues]. Their reaction stems from a comment made by the speaker of the council, Mxolisi Siyonzana, to OFM News when he said he doesn’t think residents of the metro ‘would have a problem’ by the fact that the metro still doesn’t have an official mayor a month after Mlamleli was ousted.

OFM News understands that Mlamleli is now an ordinary council member. She apparently took part in the business of the council in August when members voted on R200 000 for the burial of two ANC councillors.  He used the troubled Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Municipality in the Eastern Cape, which has the African Independent Congress’ (AIC) Thsonono Buyeye as interim mayor, as a point of reference for the delay in the election of the mayor. Siyonzana refused to comment on whether the council was in any process to identify a date for the council to sit and elect the new mayor. Referencing the Eastern Cape municipality, Siyonzana says the mayor can be elected this week, next week, or after three months.

The FF+ proposed the motion against Mlamleli, who previously survived at least two such motions after the DA’s motion of no confidence failed in early February. At least 31 councillors voted in favour of the removal of Mlamleli while 28 opposed it, and eight spoiled their votes.

In February 2020, Mlamleli survived a second motion of no confidence again after the African National Congress councillors, the Democratic Alliance councillors, the Economic Freedom Fighters, and the Freedom Front Plus voted on the motion. The ANC councillors voted against the motion, while the DA, EFF and FF+ councillors voted for the removal of Mlamleli. Two councillors abstained. DA councillor in the council, Mokgadi Kganakga, had brought forward the motion after the Metro was placed under administration and wanted a secret ballot. She previously told OFM News that the motion followed after a series of challenges the troubled municipality had been experiencing under the leadership of Mlamleli.

Kganakga added that the financial crisis went from bad to worse since the appointment of Mlamleli, with the total debt to various service providers increasing to R6.5 billion.