Gauteng MEC Lebogang Maile suspends DA councillors Vasco da Gama and Katlego Mathebe without pay

2020-01-23 11:38
Former City of Johannesburg speaker Vasco Da Gama. (Felix Dlangamandla, Gallo Images, Beeld, file)

Former City of Johannesburg speaker Vasco Da Gama. (Felix Dlangamandla, Gallo Images, Beeld, file)

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Gauteng Cogta MEC Lebogang Maile has suspended both the DA's former speaker of Johannesburg Vasco da Gama and the Tshwane speaker Katlego Mathebe for breaching the code of conduct for councillors.

Maile held a media briefing on Thursday detailing his reasons for the suspensions.

He said his decision regarding both councillors was consistent with the law and impartial to avoid accusations of tilting the balance of forces in councils to favour a particular political party.

"It is important to note that these decisions are based on strengthening local government by ensuring those elected into positions of responsibility carry out their work in the best interest of the electorate." 

Da Gama a 'constitutional delinquent'

Maile said he sent a letter to Da Gama after he suspended the special council meeting to elect a new mayor on October 27, claiming he needed to seek legal advice on what constituted majority in council.

Da Gama however failed to respond, which "displayed total disregard for meaningful engagement".

"The former speaker of Johannesburg's conduct can therefore be succinctly without any doubt be seen as a serious contravention of not only item 2 of the code of conduct for councillors as embedded in schedule 1 to the local government municipal systems act.

"As such it would be fair and just to reasonably consider the former speaker to be a constitutional delinquent." 

Maile said that his decision was informed by the law, adding that he has invoked his powers in terms of the code of conduct for councillors. 

He suspended Da Gama for a period of three months as Johannesburg councillor without any pay.

Mathebe’s suspension serves as a deterrent

With regards to the Tshwane speaker, the MEC has long held the view that she had breached the council code of conduct.

This after Mathebe refused to bend to calls by the ANC and EFF to change the order in which motions would be heard, or to recuse herself, which ultimately led to the collapse of council as the two parties staged a walkout.

"The speaker’s overall conduct in both council meetings and after leaves much to be desired. The vigour with which she behaved to protect her interest to remain the speaker at all cost irrespective of the consequences, cannot be tolerated anymore." 

He added that allowing "insidious" conduct without repercussions would set an untenable precedent that would permit office bearers to abuse their executive powers.

Calling her actions aggravating he added that they warrant her removal as the collapse of council amounts to fruitful and wasteful expenditure.

"It is our careful considered opinion that the speaker breached item 2 of the code of conduct for councillors. To that end, we invoked the powers vested in us by item 14(6) of the code and suspended the speaker of council for a period of six months without pay effective from the date of the receipt of the letter.” 


Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  vasco da gama  |  katlego mathebe  |  johannesburg  |  tshwane  |  politics
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