‘City in shambles’ – Makhura says dissolving Tshwane council not meant to punish DA

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Gauteng Premier David Makhura. Picture: GCIS
Gauteng Premier David Makhura. Picture: GCIS

Gauteng Premier David Makhura says the decision to dissolve the City of Tshwane council was not a means to “punish” the DA, stating that the Gauteng executive committee followed the right procedures.

“The executive committee did not target DA councillors; all councillors have lost their positions including ANC and EFF,” the premier said.

In court documents before the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday, he said it was clear that there a problem in council once the relationship between the EFF and the DA fell apart and this affected the executive decisions in the city.

From a governance and administrative point of view, the city is in shambles
Makhura

He was responding to the DA’s interdict against the dissolution of the Tshwane council which was filed last week.

“Not only is the council unable to fulfil its executive obligations because of the DA-EFF conflict, it is unable to meet its obligations towards residents. Its financial affairs have been condemned by the Auditor-General. From a governance and administrative point of view, the city is in shambles,” he said.

The premier noted the numerous motions of no confidence in Tshwane which included those against Solly Msimanga, Stevens Mokgalapa, Katlego Mathebe and former city manager Moeketsi Mosola.

He explained that there was a leadership crisis the municipality currently saw itself in, with no mayor or municipal manager.

Makhura highlighted other key areas which the city had failed to manage,, including the procurement processes, asset and contract management and non-compliance of internal control measures.

There was no proper opportunity for the Tshwane council or councillor to make representations on whether dissolution should occur.
DA

In its application, the DA argued that the decision by the executive committee to dissolve the city was unconstitutional, invalid and unlawful and deemed the process to have been procedurally unfair and irrational.

“There was no proper opportunity for the Tshwane council or councillor to make representations on whether dissolution should occur,” the affidavit from DA Tshwane councillor Randall Williams read.

However, Makhura slammed these allegations, saying there was a “softer intervention” before the decision was made to invoke Section 139 of the Constitution.

The premier then explained that the decision was not taken to settle any scores with the party, stating that there were problems within the city prior to 2016.

In its application, the DA stated that the executive committee had failed to take any steps to discipline or compel ANC and EFF members who had “blatantly flouted their statutory obligations to attend their council meetings”.

The two parties staged several walkouts during council meetings which were called and maintained that they would not stop doing so until Mathebe was removed from her position.

They are also of the view that fresh elections do not mean that the matter will automatically be resolved and that by-elections were the ANC’s way of trying to heed better results than in 2016.

While the court battle ensued, the MEC for cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) Lebogang Maile on Monday announced the list of administrators who will run the embattled municipality for the next 90 days.

This follows approval from the National Council of Provinces and the Cogta Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to place the city under administration.

Former West Rand executive mayor Mpho Nawa has been announced as the head administrator and City of Joburg manager Mavela Dlamini will be taking up the municipal manager position.

They will be supported by eight other administrators.


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