MASERU — The Maseru City councillors fired Councillor Mofonase Hoohlo-Sakoane from her Mayoress position after the court ruled in their favour.
Cllr Sakoane was relieved of her duties on Tuesday following eight months of waiting for the court to make its ruling on an interdict sought by Sakoane after the councillors in February this year made a notification of their intention to pass a no-confidence vote in her.
The move made by the majority of councillors to remove Cllr Sakoane, who was a ceremonial mayoress, came just a month after she was voted mayor.
The aggrieved councillors accused her of misconduct, which included ordering some senior council officials around — as if she was an executive mayor.
She was replaced by Chief Hlathe Majara of Khubetsoana who was sworn-in on Tuesday while Cllr Molapi Matlanyane was elected his deputy.
Cllr Sakoane became councillor through the Proportional Representation System and according to the council spokesperson Lintle Moerane — she would remain in that position.
“She has been officially removed as Mayoress because the councillors who had intended to pass the vote of no confidence earlier on this year won the case. Her application was thrown out while she is also expected to pay the legal costs,” Moerane said.
She explained following the court’s ruling and also in accordance with the Local Government Act, the councillors had to elect a new mayor.
“This election process is done annually and involves the councillors meeting to elect a new mayor or reinstate the current one. In this special case, a new mayor had to be urgently elected to perform duties until end of December. Although it is already towards end of the year and we are expecting elections in January next year, it was critical to have a new mayor who would in the meantime help normalise operations in the council.”
Moerane said the council has welcomed the end of the impasse and was ready to work with both the new mayor and his deputy.
“We look forward to the resumption of normal operations, which were negatively affected by the now finalised court case.”
She explained that on a monthly basis, the councillors met with the council management to discuss finance-related issues.
“This was no longer happening and as a result, we had temporarily put on halt some of our developmental projects,” Moerane said.