Bid to oust DA's Stevens Mokgalapa as Tshwane mayor deepens

2020-01-08 17:56
City of Tshwane Mayor Stevens Mokgalapa (Tshidi Madia, News24)

City of Tshwane Mayor Stevens Mokgalapa (Tshidi Madia, News24)

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The intrigue in the ANC and EFF's attempts to remove the DA's Stevens Mokgalapa as mayor of Tshwane deepened on Wednesday afternoon.

This after the two parties wrote to speaker Katlego Mathebe demanding that their motions of no confidence against Mokgalapa and his entire mayoral committee be discussed on Wednesday. The letter, sent last Friday, was accompanied by a petition signed by 89 councillors from both parties.

Wednesday morning, Mathebe announced that she "has thoroughly examined the documents supporting the petition submitted to her" to ascertain whether the petition fully complies with the requirements of Section 29(1) Local Government: Municipal Structures Act No. 117 of 1998.

"She found seven (7) signatures in the ANC caucus document that do not match the signatures in the files of the Council Meetings Attendance Registers. The same document also looks like a copy and paste of the signatures that were submitted to support the request of the meeting of the 05 December 2019," reads the statement.

READ: DA hits back at ANC's threat of placing Tshwane under administration: 'It's a smokescreen and daggers'

"Both these issues render the ANC document improper legally. The EFF document has only 25 signatures which do not satisfy the requirements of Section 29(1) Local Government: Municipal Structures Act 117 of 1998. Therefore she resolved that she cannot legally convene the Special Council Meeting as per the request of the ANC and the EFF."

Mathebe furthermore resolved to investigate whether some councillors contravened their code of conduct.

'ANC will stop at nothing'

DA deputy chief whip in the Tshwane council Mpho Mehlape-Zimu said in a statement: "It is clear that in the midst of an ongoing court battle in Tshwane to uphold and fight for the protection of our democracy and the rule of law, the ANC will stop at nothing to flex their political muscles to obtain power through the back door."

Mehlaphe-Zimu said the DA will write to Gauteng Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Lebogang Maile and call for the suspension of those councillors involved in "this fraudulent act", that they be dealt with urgently and that the DA will lay criminal charges against the "fraudulent councillors".

"The ANC has played its hand and shown they will stop at nothing to gain control of Tshwane," she said. "Even undemocratic and illegal methods, effectively trying to stage a coup."

'Politically promiscuous actions'

ANC regional spokesperson Bafuze Yabo said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon that Mathebe's "politically promiscuous actions" in stopping the meeting are illegal, as Section 29 (1) of the Municipal Structures Act says that when the majority of councillors call a meeting via a written request, a speaker must call a meeting.

"It is not the discretion of the speaker," he said.

"The petition was submitted on 3 January 2020, it was submitted similarly to the one on 5 December 2019 when we removed both Speaker and Mayor with motions of no confidence. So why is she now coming up with tricks and gimmicks this time around?"

ALSO READ: Tshwane mayor Stevens Mokgalapa's special leave extended for one more week

He said they have sent a new petition with signatures for the meeting to proceed at 17:00 on Wednesday.

"The office of the Acting City Manager and the MEC representative are on standby to proceed with the meeting at 17:00 as outlined in Section 36 (3) of the Municipal Structures Act. In the absence of the speaker of council, the Constitution, and in particular the MSA, says the City Manager must preside over the council meeting," he said.

"In the absence of the City Manager or an Acting City Manager, the office of the MEC of CoGTA will preside over the meeting, that is procedure."

About 8 minutes before 17:00, ANC regional chairperson Kgosi Maepa tweeted that the acting municipal manager has issued a notice for a special urgent council meeting at 19:00, as per the submitted petition by the ANC and EFF. All motions will be tabled.

This is a developing story, more to follow

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

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