Tshwane mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa has been placed under the spotlight by ANC members in Tshwane who accused him of having a hand in Tshwane violence.
The current mayor is allegedly trying to retain power by placing his supporters in important positions within the city prior to his departure. This will allegedly give him the room to continue running things while his successor becomes a ceremonial leader.
Some of the initiators of the fatal Tshwane violence, which resulted to the death of five people, are employees of the city through its mayoral jobs-creation programme. They were allegedly told that they would be fired if Thoko Didiza replaced Kgosientso Ramokgopa as Tshwane’s mayor.
According to some anonymous senior ANC members and municipal officials, contract workers employed in the Koka Maoto and Vat Alles programmes were told they would lose their jobs if Ramokgopa goes.
The job creation programmes, launched in 2007, deal with service delivery backlogs prioritized by the mayor. The programme helped in providing jobs for a lot of people.
A senior ANC member was quoted as saying:
“The projects were a good thing because they created employment. But the workers were morphed into some sort of private army. These workers were used . in factional battles,”
However, when Didiza’s candidacy was made public, those in the programmes were cajoled into inciting the Tshwane violence. He said:
“They were told that they were protecting their livelihoods because Didiza would shut down the programmes.”
After Didiza was named as Tshwane mayoral candidate, a plan to destabilize the Tshwane municipality reportedly began in a secret meeting held in Arcadia, Pretoria.
The outgoing mayor also advertised for 20 positions with July 21 as the deadline for applications to be submitted. The ANC members in Tshwane say it is against the law to recruit people very close to elections. They also see it as part of Ramokgopa’s strategy to bend the city to his will.