'The witch must go' - More of the same as Tshwane council sitting descends into chaos

2020-01-30 16:10
Tshwane council. (News24)

Tshwane council. (News24)

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The first ordinary sitting of the Tshwane Council in 2020 turned into a schoolyard shouting match as attempts to remove the speaker and acting speaker were unsuccessful.

The council meeting had hardly started on Thursday when ANC and EFF councillors took turns in addressing points of order, asking council to deal with the conduct of speaker Katlego Mathebe.

While there was no motion to remove the speaker on the agenda, the ANC attempted to unseat Mathebe by asking council to vote her out through a show of hands.

The majority of the councillors raised their hands, with the exception of the DA caucus and its coalition partners.

"Allow us to take you out; we don't want you, we are fed up with you, madam," EFF councillor Obakeng Ramabodu said.

"You are not fit for this seat, we are asking for an acting speaker to come and chair the meeting."

Mathebe dismissed this request, citing the rules and orders, as well as the Municipal Structures Act, alluding to the fact that there are clear guidelines and a process to remove a sitting speaker.

She added that she would not allow opposition parties to derail her or the business of the day.

Following her pronouncements, council descended into a state of pandemonium. ANC and EFF councillors drowned out the speaker chanting "Mathebe must go" and "The witch must go".

DA councillors also fought the opposition through points of order, asking that unruly councillors be removed from the council chamber.

Later, the attention shifted away from the speaker as ANC chief whip Aaron Maluleka submitted a request to rescind a 2017 council resolution that saw the appointment of an acting speaker in the event that the speaker is unable to fulfill their duties.

DA councillor Zweli Khumalo was appointed as the acting speaker.

Following a 15-minute caucus break, Mathebe made a ruling on the request by the ANC.

Citing the Municipal Systems Act, Mathebe denied the request and explained to council that they would have to submit a motion asking the author of the report that appointed Khumalo to bring another report to rescind that decision.

Maluleka threatened to collapse the council and approach the court immediately to deal with Mathebe's ruling. 

However, it's unclear if council has collapsed as a one-hour caucus break was also granted.

By 12:15pm, the council meeting had not yet dealt with any items on the agenda.

Councillors were due to return to the chambers after a lunch break.

This is a developing story.

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

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