“I’d like to thank the people of Standerton for the opportunity. I had a great experience as the manager. I thank the ANC, the administration and business. [It] Was a great experience,” Tshabalala said on Tuesday.
He said now he is like the millions of others who are unemployed.
He was appointed the manager of the municipality in 2012.
The municipality’s Thobeka Mtshiselwa told 013NEWS late on Tuesday that the municipal manager post was already advertised.
“We are currently busy with interviews. Interviews started last week,” she said.
The family says he passed away on the Saturday morning of 24 June 2017.
Standerton municipal manager Linda Tshabalala’s father is no more…
Piet Tshabalala died at the age of 94 in his sleep at his home in the Standerton township of Sakhile the past Saturday.
He was highly skilled in carpentry and joinery and later added carpet joining and fitting to his expertise.
In a statement, Linda said his father was a staunch Catholic “to his last day on earth”.
“He will be missed by many, especially his family, friends and colleagues,” Linda said.
A month ago Tshabalala’s home was attacked and vandalised during a SANCO march that turned violent and saw a 14 year old boy being killed by police. He was inside his home when the attack occurred and had to be taken to a place of safety. He was admitted to hospital shortly after the incident.
SEE HERE: Inside the deadly Standerton protest
“Since his house was stoned by SANCO hooligans on 19 May 2017, his health deteriorated continuously,” Linda said.
“He then passed on from this world on the 24th of June 2017,” he said.
Tshabalala will be laid to rest at the Sakhile cemetery.
He is survived by 7 children, 3 sons which include Linda and 4 daughters as well as grand-children and great grand-children.
He was born on 5 December 1923 near Amersfoort, south of Ermelo, where he also did his primary school and worked in the farms but then later moved to find work in Standerton farms at a very young age.
He met and got married to the late Maggie Tshabalala, fathering her 8 children – 5 daughters and 3 sons.
One of Tshabalala’s daughters has since died.
“Because of his intelligence and commitment, he underwent training and qualified for carpentry and joinery, later qualifying for carpet joining and fitting.
“He excelled in all he did in his life,” Linda added.
Most have criticised the SANCO-led protest, saying it had nothing to do with the poor but a competition by the politically powerful to gain control to loot municipal funds.
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) in the Mpumalanga province has confirmed they are investigating the conduct of Standerton cops after they opened live ammunition, killing a 14-year-old boy.
Since the incident, calls for Standerton mayor Linda Dlamini and municipal manager Linda Tshabalala to be fired have mounted.
The two are at loggerheads – Dlamini part of a faction led by SANCO that wants Tshabalala arrested and replaced by another municipal manager.
Another group aligned to Tshabalala wants Dlamini recalled as mayor of the municipality in the Standerton area – the Lekwa municipality – but most alliance structures believe the sacking of both of them will lessen the effect their personal differences have caused.
The ANCYL said the SANCO-led protest was “orchestrated by greedy individuals who have no interest at heart for our people”.
“We call on both the regional and provincial leadership of the ANC to recall and decisively deal with both the mayor and municipal manager for dragging our people to their own corrupt and greedy battles of tenders, which has resulted to such a painful tragic.
“Their appetite for corruption and squandering of public resources has today robbed this nation another precious life and the blood of this boy is in their hands,” – ANCYL’s Thulasizwe Thomo.
“Two elephants are fighting over control of looting machineries using the poor vulnerable youth and community. We call upon the leadership of the ANC in the region to provide much needed political leadership by recalling both the mayor and municipal manager with immediate effect,” YCL’s Ayanda Mashaba.
YCL regional chairman Enock Mogale.
The SACP in the Gert Sibande region called for a forensic investigation into allegations of corruption.
Communist regional spokesman Naftal Magagula said the community of Lekwa “found themselves in the cross fire where corruption has been entrenched”.
“The position of the SACP has been clear all along that this [protest] is not about the welfare of the communities but self-enrichment of individuals. Corruption has been entrenched in these municipalities, Lekwa happened to have been the first to implode but our belief is that there is a deep rot in the majority of the municipalities. Both the mayor and municipal manager should be precautionary suspended pending the immediate investigation of the allegations,” said Magagula.
ANCYL regional secretary James Nkosi.
The DA’s Mmusi Maimane said the killing of the boy signified that the ANC government was uncaring.
“President Jacob Zuma must immediately institute an investigation into this matter. It cannot ever be acceptable that unarmed youth are shot at with live ammunition, while protesting for service delivery and the restoration of their dignity,” he said.
Sources say a battle for control between the mayor and the municipal manager is behind all the scuffles in the area the latest of which turned out to be deadly.
Calls for Lekwa mayor Linda Dlamini and municipal manager Linda Tshabalala to step down gained momentum this weekend following the killing of a 14-year-old boy last Friday at mid-day.
The South African National Civic Organisation in the Gert Sibande region asked that the situation in the Standerton area not be made an issue of Dlamini and Tshabalala because doing so “won’t respond to the genuine service delivery issues that the people of Lekwa are raising”.
SANCO regional spokesman Howard Vilakazi said making the service delivery issue an issue of the differences between Dlamini and Tshabalala will divert focus from the voices of the community who complain about potholes, dirty water, electricity outage, corruption and misuse of public funds and this will “render us blind and ignorant to what is genuinely being raised”.
Tshabalala is said to be “a man on his own”, according to sources privy to the matter, and “not taking instructions from Dlamini,” a source of their differences.
The DA late last year slammed Tshabalala after it appeared that he approved an agreement to rent cars used by municipal officials.
The DA’s Jansen van Rensburg said the municipality missed an opportunity to improve service delivery and create jobs after Tshabalala approved paying R1.4 million a month to Afrirent, “in a vehicle rental contract that is due to last 36 months”.
Van Rensburg said: “This contract includes the rental of a BMW X5 for the executive mayor, councillor Linda Dlamini, at R26 700 a month”.
SANCO wants Tshabalala arrested following the alleged disappearance of R21 million from municipal coffers. A case of fraud and corruption was opened against Tshabalala in April 2017.
Municipal manager Linda Tshabalala
Mayor of Lekwa Linda Dlamini
The cops in Standerton said they would hand over the case to the Hawks.
On Friday SANCO was going to march to the Standerton police station, demanding that the cops hand the case over to the Hawks and that the Hawks arrest Tshabalala.
After this the march was going to the Lekwa local municipality, where SANCO was going to hand over a memorandum complaining about lack of service delivery.
But this didn’t occur – instead it erupted into protests across the Sakhile township, with people blockading streets and roads with burning tyres and rocks, looting shops owned by foreign nationals.
The home of Tshabalala was vandalised.
A 14-year-old boy was killed when police opened a live ammunition trying to contain a large group coming towards them and scores were injured.
“Personalising the issues to individuals won’t respond to the genuine service delivery issues raised,” Vilakazi said.
ANC regional chairman Muzi Chirwa summoned both Tshabalala and Dlamini on Friday, to come account for the situation.
ANC Gert Sibande chairman Muzi Chirwa.
Another meeting was called on Saturday where Lekwa branches were consulted, allegedly on the need to recall Dlamini.
Sources say one of these meeting was disrupted when MK veterans entered, wanting to assault Dlamini but regional ANC spokesman Sabelo Sikhakhane said “not really that the meeting was disrupted as the word disrupt means.”
“It was just individuals who wanted to sway the decisions of the ANC to their direction,” said Sikhakhane
It is said that Tshabalala now enjoys the protection of the MK.
“There’s no formal decision taken by the MK to protect comrade Linda. Whatever protection he has is his own personal protection,” said Sikhakhane
“We will communicate everything once we have completed our own investigations with regard to the situation in Lekwa,” he said.
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate is investigating the killing of the boy after live ammunition was fired by cops.
The office of SANCO provincial secretary in the Mpumalanga province, Mike Soko, slammed the ‘lobbying’ for the removal of Dlamini as Lekwa mayor.
Dlamini is the chairperson of SANCO is the Lekwa sub-region.
“It is saddening to learn that the root cause of the protest in Lekwa is being ignored in pursuit of factional political ends,” Soko said.
“The standard of living of our people in Lekwa requires urgent attention as service delivery continues to deteriorate, not the continuous centralisation of political figures.
“SANCO can only advise its alliance partners, in particular the ANC as the deploying authority, to carefully consider its options in dealing with this matter in the best interest of the people of Lekwa and its inhabitants,” Soko said.
“SANCO is angered and vehemently condemn the recorded disturbing opportunistic criminal elements that erupted after the march, and the looting of the shops owned by foreign nationals,” Mwale said in a statement on Friday afternoon.
“In the mist of the police brutality against our communities, SANCO shall continue to be the mouthpiece of communities and shall continue to raise service delivery issues without any prejudice.
“SANCO strongly believe that the SAPS must account for the loss of life and the injuries suffered by the people,” said Mwale.
ANC regional spokesman Sabelo Sikhakhane said both Tshabalala and Standerton mayor Linda Dlamini were summoned by the party in the region to come “account for the situation in Lekwa”.
A case of fraud and corruption was opened against Tshabalala by SANCO after R21 million allegedly disappeared from municipal coffers.
However Mwale said it was not true that it is SANCO that opened the case as the case was opened by an “individual”.