Community members of Ga-Maja who reportedly don’t see eye-to-eye with Ward 2 councillor, Josephine Maja sought intervention by Premier Stan Mathabatha and Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta) MEC, Jerry Ndou last Friday when they handed over a memorandum setting out their grievances at the Premier’s Office.
The councillor allegedly disrespects and undermines the Maja traditional house (Moshate) and does not participate in community gatherings called by traditional leaders. Residents claim she does not alert them of new projects meant to empower and benefit unemployed members of the community of Ga-Maja.
It was further reported that the councillor sold jobs and appointed her children in top positions as well as offered a construction sub-contract to her daughter during the construction of Maja Sport Complex in Matshane in 2016/17 financial year which according to residents, remains 90% incomplete and abandoned.
A memorandum read by resident Ledimo Maja stated: “The councillor is a bully who deploys her spies to community meetings and later threatens those who were vocal during the sessions. She offers jobs to her buddies, cronies and pals during the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) and municipal vacancy filing process. She had taken R25 000 from the donga rehabilitation in 2015/16 financial year,” he explained.
Mathabatha and Ndou were requested to intervene and investigate the councillor and further threatened to take the matter to the Office of the Presidency if the provincial government failed to resolve it.
To the accusation of the councillor disrespecting the ‘Moshate’, Communications and Marketing Manager of Polokwane Municipality, Matshidiso Mothapo said the municipality was aware of the issue as reported to them by the Maja traditional council. Mothapo added that Polokwane Executive Mayor Thembi Nkadimeng and the Speaker of the municipality, Mariri Ralefatane had convened a meeting with the councillor and traditional council where it was resolved that the councillor must participate in its affairs. Although he did not want to comment on the allegations of fraud, Mothapo said residents could report such matters to law enforcement agencies if they have tangible proof.
Provincial Government Spokesperson Phuti Seloba received the memorandum and told the crowd that the Provincial Government would study the content thereof and respond in due course. The councillor was contacted for comment but her cell phone rang unanswered.
Story & photos: ENDY SENYATSI