North West SCOPA meeting disrupted and abandoned

Chris Hattingh MPL

DA Leader in the North West

The attempts of the North West Standing Committee on Public Accounts to conduct a public hearing was derailed this morning after the SCOPA chairperson, Patrick Chauke, referred to Cllr Maphetle Maphetle as the “Executive Mayor”.

The hearing, convened to interrogate the Forensic Investigation Report in which Maphetle and others are implicated in a number of findings, could not move beyond an initial question: “Who is the Municipal Manager in the Tlokwe Municipality?”

The reference to Maphetle as the “Executive Mayor” was the last straw for members of the public, including some expelled (former ANC) councillors who were in attendance. Vicious altercations ensued during which the chairperson and a former MEC were accused of theft, fraud and corruption.  The chairperson was repeatedly shouted down and threatened that the community will stand up against SCOPA and will start with protest meetings directed at SCOPA.

The clear message from the community members present was that the NW SCOPA in its conduct this morning displayed a political bias in the factional infighting within the ANC.

The DA is concerned with the conduct at the meeting as it impacts on the functioning of the NW SCOPA – a committee which carefully over years built a reputation for being a non-partisan and ruthless protector of public funds. The Tlokwe Municipality incident damaged this reputation and also highlighted the fact that the factional divisions prevalent in Potchefstroom also thrives within the every facet of the NW ANC.

The reality remains that the main victims of the dog eats dog ANC infighting is the community who are being denied quality service delivery and in addition also now are being denied a probing into the expenditure of (their) public funds.