Cllr Godfrey Mawela (left) and Cllr Rudzani Ludere (right).
After long and protracted protests by workers aligned to SAMWU at Vhembe for the removal of officials implicated in corruption and the VBS saga, the ANC in Vhembe finally bowed to pressure and axed two councillors.
In a move seen by many as a ploy by the ANC to appease SAMWU members and to return calm to the troubled municipality, finance portfolio head, Cllr Rudzani Ludere and corporate services head, Cllr Godfrey Mawela were recalled from their positions.
Following the announcement, the municipality, which has not been operating for weeks following the murders of two unionists Messrs Timmy Tshililo Musetsho and Ronald Mani, started operating on Monday.
The closure of the municipality had adversely affected residents, as they could not access services.
The axing came as some sort of relief to workers, who have vowed not to return to work if the two were not suspended.
A worker at the municipality, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the ANC in Vhembe was taking workers for granted. “This is long overdue. We have been crying for a long time with the organization for not doing anything. Our leaders were killed for calling for the removal of these councillors while the ANC turned a deaf ear. We are a bit consoled that they were recalled, but our hearts are sore as we lost our leaders,” he said.
A community member who also preferred anonymity for fear of reprisal, said the ANC is taking residents for a ride. “The leadership of the ANC know their members are involved in corruption, but they drag their feet when it comes to punishing them. It took two lost lives for the region to come to this conclusion. They think we are not watching them. We will punish them at the polls,” he said.
Meanwhile, a special council meeting held at the municipality on Tuesday did not touch on the issue of the recalled councillors as many had anticipated. Efforts to get comment from the Vhembe ANC regional secretary, Adv Anderson Mudunungu, did not yield any fruits, as his phone kept ringing without being answered. In a radio interview he, however, confirmed the recall but did not disclose the names of the affected councillors.
Vhembe mayor Cllr Mavhungu Luruli-Ramakhanya could also not be reached for comment.
Date:02 March 2019 - By: Elmon Tshikhudo
Elmon Tshikhudo started off as a photographer. He developed an interest in writing and started submitting articles to local as well as national publications. He became part of the Limpopo Mirror family in 2005 and has since been a familiar name among the newspaper's readers.