Limpopo mayor loses case against ANC to remain in position

A mayor who has been involved in a legal spat with his employer, the ANC in Limpopo, over “flawed” deployment processes has finally accepted defeat after a damning judgment by the High Court in Pretoria yesterday.

Alpheus Thulare, mayor of Lephalale Local Municipality, was in a legal battle over who should be the rightful mayor.

Thulare has been mayor for the mining-rich and tourism town since November last year. This after a local ANC branch in Lephalale and several party members lodged a dispute about an alleged wayward selection process of mayoral candidates ahead of the 2021 municipal polls.

The matter was being investigated by the national ANC Dispute Resolution Committee. A fortnight ago, Thulare took the ANC to court following its decision to appoint a member of the Lephalale municipal council, Aaron Mokgehle as the mayor.

Thulare said his fight was purely political, with a view to do things by the book. He said he and 15 ANC branches in the Lephalale sub-region had a problem with the fact that Mokgehle was not nominated by branches but was headhunted by party bigwigs speaking the same political language as him.

The ANC has argued that it had the right to deploy and redeploy its members to any position and it would not be dictated to by its members.

“Taking the ANC to court against a redeployment was uncalled for, out of order and undermined ANC processes,” the party said.

The ANC said the judgment further confirmed that it reserved the right to redeploy its members or representatives as and when it is deemed it necessary.

“We call upon all representatives of the ANC in all levels to refrain from using courts against their deployment or redeployment,” ANC provincial secretary Reuben Madadzhe said.

“They must instead use the available internal processes…” Madadzhe said they expect Thulare to relinquish his position as the mayor of Lephalale with immediate effect.

“In the event that he persist with his defiant conduct, ANC representatives deployed to Lephalale council will be required to file a motion of no confidence against the mayor.”

Yesterday Thulare said he had no intentions to fight the judgment because, as a loyal ANC member, he’s ready to take instructions from his political principals.

“My problem is that if not careful, undermining the available guidelines of the movement may sometimes lend the party in a serious predicament,” he said.

“It’s important to be careful rather be sorry tomorrow because the ANC is a broad church. It does not belong to any individual… So doing things by the book is always the right thing.

“My only fear is that this judgment may give birth to instability within the sub-region because people are not happy.”

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