ANC, EFF won't show up for planned Tshwane council meeting

2020-03-09 14:04
Former Tshwane Mayor Stevens Mokgalapa.

Former Tshwane Mayor Stevens Mokgalapa. (Photo by Morapedi Mashashe)

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A planned Tshwane special council meeting to be held on Tuesday, amid the announcement that the City will be placed under administration, is expected to end before it starts as the ANC and EFF will not be in attendance.

The council sitting, called by the speaker’s office, intends to deal with the election of a mayor, the extension of the acting city manager’s period of service and the proposed 2019/2020 adjustments budget.

It is expected that this meeting will not come to fruition as the ANC and the EFF told News24 that they won't be attending council.

READ | ANC and EFF 'ready for by-elections' as City of Tshwane placed under administration

ANC chairperson in Tshwane, Dr Kgosi Maepa, said the ANC would not be there, following the announcement that the City would be placed under administration, the council dissolved, and by-elections set to go ahead.

"The ANC in Tshwane has already started with its election campaign, we will only go to council after elections in May 2020," Maepa said.

EFF leader in Tshwane, MoAfrika Mabogwane, echoed these sentiments, saying that they would not be going to the special council meeting as they were preparing for the by-elections.

Without the ANC and EFF in council, there will be no quorum and the meeting cannot begin. As a result, it will likely be postponed to a later date.

Previous meetings to elect a new mayor, adjust the budget and extend the contract of the acting city manager also failed to materialise, either because council had collapsed or there had not been enough councillors to start the meeting.

Since the resignation of Stevens Mokgalapa as mayor at the start of March, the City has had no leadership. This automatically dissolved the mayoral committee, while the period of service for acting city manager Augustine Makgata came to an end.

No bearing on decision to place City under administration

While notice of the special council sitting was sent out by acting speaker Zweli Khumalo last week, the legitimacy of the meeting had been questioned because of the process to place the capital city under administration.

In a statement on Monday, Gauteng's Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) MEC, Lebogang Maile, said they would not be questioning the standing of the planned council sitting, nor would they require an explanation from authorities in the City.

He said the decision to dissolve council, and place the City under administration, was effectively in motion and the special council meeting did not invalidate the process.

"The planned council sitting, scheduled for Tuesday, allegedly called by acting speaker, councillor Zweli Khumalo, is not in any way deemed as an act of defiance or nullification of the [Gauteng provincial] Exco decision to dissolve and place the municipality under administration," Maile said.

READ | DA to turn to courts to stop City of Tshwane from being dissolved

Maile said notices informing the Ministry of COGTA, the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) and the Gauteng Legislature Speaker of the reasons for the decision had been dispatched.

"In this regard, dissolution takes effect 14 days from the date of receipt of the notice by the National Council of Provinces unless set aside by the Minister of COGTA or the NCOP within 14 days."

"In addition, the [Electoral Commission of South Africa] (IEC) has been informed, given its legal mandate to oversee the by-elections of the new council within 90 days after the dissolution of the municipal council."

Maile not following due process

The DA, who vowed not to give up Tshwane without a fight, accused Maile of not following the constitution with regard to the decision to place Tshwane under administration.

In a statement on Monday, the DA's Gauteng chairperson, Mike Moriarty, said if Maile "wishes to proceed with an illegal process, we will meet him in court and will ask that he be ordered to personally pay the costs when he loses".

Moriarty said Tshwane speaker, Katlego Mathebe, had not yet received a letter to inform her of the dissolution of council and the implementation of Section 139.

"The supposed delivery dates of such notices, as mentioned in the various press releases, is misleading and untrue," Moriarty said.

READ | No turning back on Tshwane dissolution decision - GPEC

"The MEC is not following due process in terms of the constitution and continues to mislead the public while creating confusion within the administration."

Moriarty accused Maile of defying the democratic will of the people and said the MEC must not be allowed to abuse his powers.

"The conditions to allow him to intervene do not exist in Tshwane."

News24 previously reported that the DA were looking at instituting a legal challenge against the City being placed under administration.

Maile said any court action that challenges the decision would be vehemently defended in court.

"Notwithstanding the above, should this matter be litigated, the Exco will irrespective of the outcome abide by the final decision of the court to demonstrate our respect and commitment to the rule of law," Maile said.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  eff  |  pretoria  |  local elections  |  politics

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