Tshwane speaker labels motion of no confidence in him illegal, ahead of mayor's election

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Mncedi Ndzwanana, Speaker of the Tshwane Metro Council. Photo: Dean Vivier
Mncedi Ndzwanana, Speaker of the Tshwane Metro Council. Photo: Dean Vivier
  • Tshwane speaker Mncedi Ndzwanana adjourned a special council sitting on Monday, labelling it "illegal". 
  • The meeting was convened by city manager Johann Mettler and was intended to hear a motion of no confidence in Ndzwanana. 
  • Ndzwanana chaired the special sitting and quickly adjourned it, saying it was convened illegally because of questionable signatures in a petition. 

Tshwane speaker Mncedi Ndzwanana said a special council sitting called to hear a motion of confidence in him was convened and arranged illegally. 

Ndzwanana quickly adjourned a special council sitting in the metro on Monday, saying a petition sent to him had questionable signatures. 

Tshwane city manager Johann Mettler convened the council meeting on Monday after receiving a petition of councillors' signatures from mainly DA and its coalition partner councillors. 

The coalition has a majority in the council.

The group initially petitioned Ndzwanana last week to call the special sitting, but he disagreed. 

Municipal legislation allows councillors, after failing to petition the speaker, to approach the city manager if the speaker refuses to call a sitting despite the majority of councillors requesting it. 

This was the view of ActionSA national chairperson Michael Beaumont while explaining the decision by the coalition. 

Mettler sent a notice about Monday's session, intended to hear a motion of no confidence in Ndzwanana.

Ndzwanana, an ATM councillor, was elected on 14 March and was supported by the ANC and EFF in his election. 

The coalition does not believe he is fit for the job and wants him removed ahead of Tuesday's sitting, which is intended to elect a mayor. 

Ndzwanana, while addressing councillors in the meeting on Monday, insisted he wanted more evidence beyond the signatures in the petition calling for the special sitting. 

READ | Political blame game intensifies in Tshwane as mayoral post remains vacant

He said the meeting was illegal. 

"I believe the petition does not meet the minimum requirements set out in the legislation. That means this meeting is illegal, and all that was in it has fallen out, and this meeting is adjourned."

Ndzwanana added 10 signatures forming part of the petition needed to be more credible. 

The DA said the accusation was invalid. 

DA councillor Kwena Moloto added the City was being held hostage by Ndzwanana's illegal behaviour. 

Moloto said: 

We are being held hostage by a minority. The majority of councillors called for a special sitting. The speaker should not have even been sitting on that chair. The majority of councillors signed the petition. There is no basis for the meeting to be collapsed.

Beaumont said: "The speaker had no business chairing the meeting which was set to hear a motion against him. He is subverting democracy. It is very serious, and we must fight this." 

A council speaker holds significant powers to convene and adjourn meetings.

The DA and its coalition partners believe Ndzwanana was abusing his powers. 

The ANC meanwhile supported Ndzwanana. 

ANC Tshwane regional secretary George Matjila said the meeting must be properly constituted. 

The EFF shared similar sentiments, with Obakeng Ramabodu saying the DA submitted fake signatures. 

READ | Tshwane speaker vote: DA's 'spoilt ballots' pave way for election of ANC-EFF backed ATM candidate

He said on Tuesday, when a special meeting is expected to elect a mayor, the ANC and EFF would be ready. 

"We are ready for tomorrow. The DA has never won anything so far," Ramabodu added. 

The mayor's election is expected to take place on Tuesday and will see great contestation. 

The ANC and EFF are expected to propose a candidate from a minority party, a similar move the parties pulled in the election of Ndzwanana as speaker. 

The DA and its coalition partners will back Cilliers Brink, a former MP who returned to serve as a councillor in the metro because of his ambitions of being elected mayor. 

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