PA mayor of Beaufort-West resigns over allegations of assaulting a woman

This will be the second mayor to resign in the past six months, and the fourth since the 2021 local elections, in a local regime shaped by graft and outrageous promises





Feb 9, 2024

PA mayor of Beaufort-West resigns over allegations of assaulting a woman

The revolving door of failed PA mayors continues to spin, as the latest, Ebenezer Botha, has been forced to resign after allegations of assaulting a woman have surfaced.

Botha, elected mayor just last September, has made no comment on the allegations, following legal advice. His inauguration speech had promised improved service delivery, reflecting the municipality's commitment to its residents' well-being.

The departure follows the sudden resignation of Ashley "Dubai-West" Sauls, who announced ambitions of vying for the Western Cape premiership against incumbent Alan Winde of the Democratic Alliance (DA). Sauls' proposal to rename the municipality to "Dubai-West" sparked controversy and opposition, prompting public outcry and a petition against the name change.

Meanwhile, Beaufort West Mayor Ebenezer Botha, affiliated with the Patriotic Alliance (PA), has resigned amid allegations of gender-based violence. The municipality's speaker, Noal Constable, confirmed Botha's resignation, citing a decision by the PA leadership. Botha's departure marks the third mayor change since the 2021 local government elections in a municipality governed by a coalition comprising the African National Congress (ANC), PA, and Karoo Democratic Force (KDF).

Deputy Mayor Lulama Piti assumes interim mayoral duties, ensuring continuity in governance amidst the instability. The DA, as the opposition, pledges to safeguard service delivery despite the challenges faced under the coalition government.

Last year's report by Ratings Afrika has revealed that Beaufort West municipality has earned the dubious distinction of being the lowest-performing municipality in South Africa, scoring a mere 21 out of 100 in the Municipal Financial Sustainability Index (MFSI) report, which stated the municipality made a loss of R26m and had a liquidity shortfall of R53m in 2022.

The dismal rating underscores persistent challenges in service delivery and financial management within the municipality, with the report shedding light on the Patriotic Alliance's (PA) role in exacerbating these issues.

Beaufort West remains mired in a cycle of financial instability and inadequate service provision, reflecting systemic governance failures, and has been dogged by accusations of cadre delpoyment, and consistent failure to collect electrical bills.

The PA's partnership with the African National Congress (ANC) further underscores concerns about the party's commitment to addressing the community's needs, raising questions about its efficacy in governance and accountability.

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