BUFFALO City Metro officials may have misled cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) MEC Fikile Xasa to misrepresent the truth in the Bhisho legislature.
Xasa told MPLs and the public in Bhisho earlier this month that metro officials had no knowledge of an application by East London’s Apostolic Faith Mission to buy land in 2014.
At the time, Xasa was responding to questions from DA MPL Veliswa Mvenya about the status of the application.
The Saturday Dispatch, however, has seen a copy of a letter written by suspended BCM municipal manager Andile Fani, dated April 14 2014, addressed to the church’s Reverend Mncedisi Sodawe, acknowledging the application.
Cogta provincial spokesman Mamnkeli Ngam said yesterday Xasa would meet with executive mayor Alfred Mtsi.
“The MEC views this as a very serious matter. He will take it up with the executive mayor to get to the bottom of it. We take a dim view to such contradictions.”
Metro spokeswoman Thandy Matebese only said: “We encourage residents or institutions to approach the municipality directly as we do not respond to any ‘middle man’.”
Matabese would not be drawn into commenting further.
Mvenya said the incident clearly demonstrates a blatant disregard of the needs of community groups in the metro.
“Community members in a free society would be granted the freedom to feed their spiritual well-being at a proper venue.”
She said she would write to Bhisho Legislature speaker Noxolo Kiviet to report that Xasa had misled the house and the public.
In his response last month, Xasa said: “Buffalo City metropolitan municipality indicated it never received an application for the purchase of ERF 32 536 in Duncan Village.” Xasa said that no action would be taken against the municipal officials for delaying to process the application because there were no records showing the application was made.
Sodawe said the church was built on the plot of land in 1993 after it was handed over by a councillor and community committee. — msindisif@dispatch.