Maruleng local municipality still looking for a manager

The Maruleng local municipality in Limpopo is between a rock and a hard place over the appointment of a new municipal manager.

Last week a special council sitting collapsed after councillors shot down the appointment of a new manager amid allegations that he was a lapdog of certain comrades within the ANC Mopani regional leadership.

The municipality has been running without a full-time municipal manager for nearly two years, after the former manager, Johannes Lethole, was forced to resign following allegations of misconduct.

Lethole resigned in April last year after he was accused of having increased his annual salary from R947 000 to R1.1 million.

He was further accused of increasing his cellphone allowance from R1 200 to R2 063 without seeking a formal request from council to debate the salary hike.

“We are currently working on the appointment of a new manager after our effort to appoint the manager last week was put on hold, after our media and recording devices in council chamber became dysfunctional,” said Maruleng local municipality spokesperson, John Seokoma, yesterday.

Two people vying for the municipal job are Refilow Ramothwala and Thabo Magabanehane.

Last week the council could not agree on a candidate after one was linked to two echelons of the ANC, both at the Mopani region and at the Limpopo ANC’s PEC.

“We could not agree on his appointment because of his relationship with some allegedly corrupt comrades at the ANC regional leadership and provincial executive committee.

“We have received information at the eleventh hour that the comrades wanted to use him as a pawn to accumulate more wealth in the supply chain management of this municipality,” said a municipal representative, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal.

Last year former minister for cooperative governance and traditional affairs, Zweli Mkhize, identified 55 municipalities in the country as distressed and dysfunctional municipalities. Of the 55 municipalities, seven are in Limpopo.

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