At 15:00 to 18:00 on 29 June, 2016, at the Brits City Hall, famed radio station 702 held a political debate with all representing political parties, including oppositions namely the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) with community members and NGOs present from the Local Municipality of Madibeng. As usual, the ANC was present in overarching numbers and tensions grew between the ruling party and the ANC.
Apparently, before our reporters arrived, there had already been a minor brawl between the ANC and the EFF. A figurative mountain of accusations were hauled against the Honourable Mayor Mothibe from the EFF, the DA, callers, community members and NGOs. In all fairness, the mayor had to respond and speak on behalf of municipal officials and employees, where it could not be expected that one person should contain all the ins and outs of the state coffers as the accountants, auditors and demand and supply management should. The administrator of water and sanitation was present on countless accusations of non supply of water to rural areas and timidly sat and remained silent while Mothibe had to quickly come up with reasons for the issue of water in the district.
Most callers and those present openly called the mayor a lair and corrupt with her administration. “She has paid the public to protest in order to appoint the water trucks so that she can get a kickback from the ctractor’s tender,” hauled a municipal worker. “She is given a car allowance, but the municipality has to fetch her from home and take her to work and back at the municipality’s cost,” hauled DA MP and water and sanitation heavyweight Basson. “All these ANC supporters here are being paid by the mayor to show support by emotional disruption,” accused a municipal worker. On all accusations Mothibe sat calmly shaking her head in disagreement and disapproval.
The DA raised the concern of millions of rands that have been irretrievably lost within the municipality. The EFF’s Bojonala District Chairman, Thulani Makganya emphasised: “we are here and we are taking over,” whereupon the ANC later retorted with challenging songs and blasting the word masipa as part of their rhetoric and hauling Mothibe as “our leader!”
There where several complaints of corruption, nepotism, fraud – where the actual numerals on invoices and cheques where changed by ‘adding’ numerals ‘to the power of ten.” 702 host Xolani Gwala, on several occasions had to remind the mayor that the word corruption kept emerging from every comment, complaint and call. Tender fraud was also a hot topic of discussion as many alleged that one certain contractor always got all the tenders regardlessly.
Every time any opposition party brought in an accusation, the persons voice was almost drowned by calls of “you are lying!” from the ANC block. There was much competition when it came to demonstrating and the singing of freedom songs between the ANC and the EFF. Overall, there where many accusations and complaints, no answers from the mayor except that she emphasised the fact that not one investigation has came back with any results incriminating her, which included the dreaded visit by the Hawks. “The ANC as an organisation is anti-corrupt,” she concluded as the crowd compromising the opposition shouted her down.