Msimanga questions Maepa's authority to act on ANC's behalf in court challenge

2018-10-16 17:43
Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga. (Veli Nhlapo, Gallo Images, Sowetan, file)

Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga. (Veli Nhlapo, Gallo Images, Sowetan, file)

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Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga has said that Kgosi Maepa, the ANC chairperson in Tshwane, failed to demonstrate that he was given authority to launch a court application to have last month's council sitting nullified.

This was revealed in an answering affidavit by Msimanga seen by News24 on Tuesday.

"It is unclear when one reads the founding papers whom exactly is the applicant in the present application," said Msimanga in the papers to be filed in the North Gauteng High Court.

"It is not certain whether it is the deponent in his personal capacity as a member of the ANC, representing the ANC as an organisation, or in his capacity as chairperson of the Tshwane region of the ANC."

READ: D-Day for Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga as motion of no confidence gets under way

'Improper exercise of discretion'

Msimanga added that Maepa did not demonstrate that he had been given the necessary authority in terms of ANC structures to act on behalf of the party and launch the court application.

Earlier this month, Maepa approached the High Court on an urgent basis to have last month's council sitting set aside after a second motion of no confidence against Msimanga, brought by the ANC, was unsuccessful.

The ANC had also asked the court for an order allowing a secret ballot vote after this was disallowed by Tshwane speaker Katlego Mathebe.

ANALYSIS: EFF wags the dog in Tshwane, NMB

In August, Msimanga faced another motion by the EFF that was dismissed on a procedural point by Mathebe. The ANC had also brought a motion to be heard during the same sitting.

The motion was not heard after the EFF staged a walk-out.

In the court papers filed by the ANC, the party said that Mathebe's refusal to allow for a secret ballot was "improper exercise of the discretion afforded to her" and called for resolutions adopted at the September 27 sitting to be set aside.

"There is now a situation where members of council fear for their safety and cannot vote freely," said Maepa in an affidavit.

He said this was because of an altercation between the city manager Moeketsi Mosola and councillor Cilliers Brink.

The altercation is linked to the ongoing GladAfrica saga.

The engineering company and the City have been at the centre of allegations of tender irregularity for the past two months, following reports that it scored a R12bn deal to provide project management support to the City.

"There is no open expression and no freedom for individuals to express themselves and the council is now placed in a very invidious position where members are unable to express what they actually feel," argued Maepa in the court papers.

Race relations

Maepa also alleged that race relations within the DA was a reason for the secret ballot, saying that some black DA members would only feel comfortable expressing their views if their votes were secret.

Following the deposition of the answering affidavit by Msimanga on Tuesday, the Tshwane mayor said the allegations made against him by Maepa were emotive and nothing but wild conjecture unsupported by fact.

"In their application they fail to make any coherent representations about what irreparable harm would befall the City in the present circumstances with me as the executive mayor," said Msimanga in a statement.

"If the ANC wishes to bring a motion against me they are more than welcome to do so in the time prescribed by the rules of council because the fact is that there are no grounds for urgency in this regard.

"The truth is that the Maepa's court application, in so far as it pertains to me, demonstrates the desperation with which he wants to be the mayor despite a motion sponsored by him failing in council."

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