The EFF in the North West permanently suspended one of its board members in Potchefstroom over a recording of a conversation in which it apparently sounds like he and someone else would get bribes of at least R3m.
It would apparently be their reward if they would support the JB Marks Municipality’s budget at a meeting where it had to be approved.
This ANC-controlled municipality serves the Potchefstroom and Ventersdorp area.
It is not clear who would pay this reward to the two EFF board members.
Papiki Babuile, provincial secretary of the EFF in the North West, said on Monday that the party decided at a meeting on Sunday with the EFF’s central command team to suspend Chester Moeletsi. This also means that he will no longer be able to serve as a councilor because he may not participate in or represent the party.
Thabiso Morulane, the other EFF councilor with whom Moeletsi was apparently in talks,’s case has now been referred to the party’s national disciplinary committee. Morulane has been temporarily suspended from the party pending the outcome of the disciplinary proceedings against him. He is therefore also not allowed to participate in any party activities now.
Willie Maphosa, municipal spokesperson for the JB Marks municipality, said on Monday that Morulane had already resigned as councilor.
“Moeletsi has indicated he will resign, but we have not yet received an official notice from him.”
The two councilors are in trouble over recording a telephone conversation in which they believe they were promised between R5m and R3m if they were to support the budget.
The budget has meanwhile only been conditionally approved at the insistence of the DA. The DA has made several (accepted) demands on, among other things, information and documents it wants by Tuesday week before the budget can be approved.
Morulane declined to comment. Moeletsi acknowledged the conversation between him and Morulane last week, but claimed it was a deliberate prank to put pressure on some ANC councilors to hold a meeting between EFF councilors and the (now deceased) MEC for local government in the North West, Gordon Kegakilwe, to arrange.
“There was not really a bribe or money that was promised to us. We wanted to talk to the MEC about possible interventions at the municipality. ”
But Babuile says even if Moeletsi’s version is true, that behavior is still a violation of the party’s code of conduct. “It is also very suspicious that during a council meeting a few days before they supported the budget, the EFF councilors indicated they would not support it. What happened in the meantime? We hope the police investigation will clarify that. ”
Col. Northwest Police spokeswoman Adéle Myburgh confirmed last week that criminal charges related to alleged bribery had been filed.
Moeletsi said on Monday he did not want to comment further now.