Councillor attacks Council Secretary over allowances
Fists flew as violence ensued in a dramatic confrontation at the Kweneng Council last Friday.
Council Secretary Wazha Tema and Gaphatshwa Ward Councillor Kabelo Mokgalajwe exchanged blows in a row that had fellow councillors gasping in open-mouthed amazement as an argument over allowances spiralled into full combat between the two civic leaders.
Eyewitnesses to the fistfight at the Kweneng District Council (KDC) described how the confrontation between the Council Secretary Wazha Tema and ward councillor Kabelo Mokgalajwe resembled a scene from a wild-west movie.
One told how Tema had run to his office where he locked himself in following the flare up over sitting allowances.
“He seemed to be losing steam and when he found an escape route he took to his heels and found refuge in his office where he called the police,” a fellow councillor commented.
The drama apparently begun after Mokgalajwe had gone to collect a cheque for his sitting allowance and vehicle mileage.
“Other councillors had received their cheques and when I enquired from Mr Tema the Council Secretary, he referred me to his deputy at the council treasury. When I approached deputy Molaodi, he told me he had been instructed by Tema not to sign my cheque and that was when I went back and confronted him,” Mokgalajwe said.
The irate councillor said he was being victimized following the recent corruption accusations he had levelled against the KDC.
The youthful councillor had accused the Mogoditshane/Thamaga Sub-District Council of corrupt practices that he claimed had led to the stalling of developments at Morope village.
“I grew up in Morope, but even up to now it is not recognized as a village because there are no developments and no government office wants to take its services there. When I suggested recently that the council should involve the DCEC to investigate corrupt practices it seemed I rubbed some people up the wrong way,” he said.
Mokgalajwe added that when he confronted Tema about his cheque the Council Secretary told him that he could not help him as he had embarrassed the council. “He told me that he was reluctant to sign the cheque as I had labelled him and the council leadership as corrupt. When he told me that he was teaching me a lesson in manners I flew into a rage and that was when we started exchanging blows.
“I took his phone and told him I was returning the favour in teaching him a lesson and that was when he ran off and locked himself in the office and called the police claiming that I had mugged and robbed him,” he said.
Tema who was this week on leave said he was not prepared to comment on the matter. “I’ll be back on Monday and that is when I’ll be able to give you the information,” was all he could say. Council Chairman, Motlhophi Leo said he had not had the chance to talk to the two men about the incident. “I was at the council on that day but I did not witness the fight. I am yet to get the full details and before then I cannot give a comment,” he said.
Superintendent Andrew Bosilong of Molepolole Police confirmed the incident but said no case had been opened.
“The Council secretary wanted assurance from the police that the councillor would not attack him, but the police officers handling the case told him that we do not have such an arrangement. None of the two men have a case and they were advised to settle the matter amicably at the council chambers,” he said.
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