If the battle between the Municipal Manager of the Matatiele Local Municipality, Dr. Tsepang Nakin, and the Matatiele Council was a boxing match, Dr. Nakin would have won it by a Technical Knockout (TKO). He would have won it in a second round. A battle that started in October 2018 ended up on the 28th of January 2020 when the Council threw a towel and the referee (Cogta) awarded Dr. Nakin the Champion belt. In reality, a faction of ANC councilors who converged in the Council Chambers of Matatiele on the 10th of January 2020 took a unilateral decision “To terminate the fixed contract of the Municipal Manager with immediate effect. Head of Cooperate and Human Resource was instructed to remove Dr. Nakin from the Municipal System with immediate effect. Security personnel was also instructed to prevent Dr. Nakin from entering the municipal premises.

The meeting which was hell-bent on pushing Dr. Nakin out of the Municipality further nominated the acting Mayor, who was councilor Nkuku, thereupon was ordered to write a letter notifying Dr. Nakin of these decisions before the end of that day. Furthermore, an acting Municipal Manager was then sourced from Alfred Nzo District Municipality and began his duties on Monday the 13th of January. This was described by some, as the harshest decision ever taken against an Accounting Officer by a council. As a consequence of several interactions and interventions by various political authorities, on the 28th of January, the leaders of the faction had to apologise for the bad implementation of their decision. “Although we cannot point a finger to any individual, as the ANC we are taking responsibility for what has happened and we apologise to the community of Matatiele”, said Pulelo Mohale, who is the Deputy Chairperson of the ANC in Alfred Nzo.

Meanwhile, Council Speaker Nomasomi Mshuqwana told the informer that the fracas that took seven months in the municipality taught them to respect one another, more importantly, the law. The apology comes after the council rescinded all decisions taken in a Special Council meeting of the 10th January as the ANC Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) instructed them to do so. The first round which started in May 2019 saw Dr. Nakin suspended in October 2019. He took the matter to the Court and the court ruled in his favor and was reinstated to his position. He even caused the Council to pay R598 000.00 for legal costs. Although the reversal of the decisions of the 10th January was described as an unprecedented embarrassment to those who championed and orchestrated the removal of the Municipal Manager, they still regard and maintain that they have won the battle. Though according to some on the other faction, this illustration of vindication is a phenomenon or strategy used as propaganda to appease those councilors who cannot decide on their own but are just toeing the line.

January 28th Ordinary Council meeting decisions to rescind the resolutions of the 10th January has led to the reinstatement of Municipal Manager Dr. Tsepang Nakin. The decision went further to place Dr. Nakin on special leave to allow and open the way for settlement negotiations between the Municipality and Dr. Nakin. Negotiations between the two parties are said to be highly sensitive and important to happen while Dr. Nakin is not in the institution. This is because of relations that are described as irreparable. In this way, the two parties are obliged to come with an amicable and/ or harmonious solution that will see Dr. Nakin out of the institution. But it will be on his terms not of those who wanted to embarrass him. That is why this is depicted as a Technical Knockout -TKO in favor of Dr. Nakin.

Whilst Dr. Nakin is on special leave, a Senior Official from the Provincial Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Deputy Director General (DDG) Dr. Vuyo Mlokothi has been seconded to act on Dr. Nakin‘s position. The Mayor of Matatiele Local Municipality Councillor Momelezi Mbedla, apologised unreservedly to the Matatiele community, saying that this will never happen again. Meanwhile, ordinary members of the community and Rate Payers are still in a state of confusion with some asking questions that could not be answered by anybody. Why people are so desperate to see Dr. Nakin out of the Municipal Institution. In all, what did he do? Why are the leaders not giving direction or explanation to the electorate? What will be the consequence management to the culprits

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