The South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) is deeply concerned about the recent developments surrounding the assault case involving Mayor of Matjhabeng Local Municipality, Cllr Thandixolo Khalipha who is currently facing common assault charges. 

On the 28th of February 2024, a SAMWU member, who is an employee of the Matjhabeng Local Municipality and tasked with protecting Mayor Khalipha, was assaulted multiple times by the Khalipha in front of other colleagues while returning from an Imbizo. Following this incident, the employee promptly opened a case at the Welkom Police Station, receiving case number 702/02/24.

Despite the assault case being opened against Khalipha, he has neither been charged nor arrested for violating the dignity of an employee. Captain Stephen Thakeng of the South African Police Service (SAPS) confirmed the registration of a case of common assault against Khalipha on the 28th February 2024. 

As a SAMWU, we are troubled by the slow progress in handling this matter. The lack of action by the SAPS in charging and arresting Khalipha reinforces his self-proclamation of being powerful and untouchable. This action further vindicates the Union’s call for Khalipha to be removed as the Mayor as he has shown to be a bully and harasser of employees. As a Union, we refuse to stand idly by while the justice system is manipulated for the benefit of one individual at the expense of the victim. 

SAMWU therefore unequivocally demands that Khalipha be promptly charged and arrested for the common assault case lodged against him. Furthermore, we urge both the SAPS and the National Prosecuting Agency (NPA) not to incite workers and community members through their lack of action. 

Should workers and community members take matters into their own hands to hold Khalipha accountable, the SAPS and NPA should bear the responsibility for failing to act appropriately and timeously. 

Issued by SAMWU Free State 

Tiisetso Mahlatsi, Provincial Secretary (079 152 9648)


Papikie Mohale, National Media Officer (076 795 8670)