Duties 'abandoned': Joburg councillors query speaker's sick note after she's seen at Tshwane sitting

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Johannesburg Speaker Colleen Makhubele
Johannesburg Speaker Colleen Makhubele
PHOTO: Luba Lesolle/Gallo Images
  • Johannesburg Speaker Colleen Makhubele was seen in a Tshwane council meeting on Wednesday despite the council in her metro sitting on the same day.
  • Makhubele, who has been absent because of an illness, apologised for her absence.
  • Johannesburg councillors have hinted that she may have faked her illness to sit in on the Tshwane council meeting.

City of Johannesburg Speaker Colleen Makhubele is facing questions about her decision to attend a meeting of the Tshwane council, despite her own council sitting on the same day.

According to City of Johannesburg spokesperson Virgil James, Makhubele has been off sick since last week.

Councillors believed this was the reason for the chair of chairs, councillor Lloyd Philips, presiding over Wednesday's sitting in Johannesburg.

However, they were surprised to hear that Makhubele was in the council gallery in the capital city, instead of in her metro's own sitting on Wednesday.

DA councillor Michael Sun said when apologies were submitted for the Johannesburg sitting, "it was believed that her absence was indicated as 'ill health'".

"To our surprise, she was seen in good health and active in the Tshwane council sitting. We are concerned that she as the speaker had abandoned her duties at an important two-day council meeting with over 137 items and 16 motions that she had convened as the speaker, only to attend as an observer at the Tshwane council meeting. Moreover, if she is faking her illness to get away from her duties in Joburg, it will not be taken lightly."

On Thursday, during day two of the 12th ordinary sitting of the Johannesburg council, councillors queried the event.

Makhubele told News24 Tshwane Speaker Mncedi Ndzwanana, an African Transformation Movement councillor, called her to urgently assist in a Cope matter.

"I have nothing to say, except for the apology that was presented to council, and that the speaker of Tshwane requested me to urgently come to resolve the issue with the Cope councillor as I am the contact person at the IEC (Electoral Commission of SA) for the province. I didn't know that when I am recovering, I should spend my days in bed locked in the house," said Makhubele.

The Tshwane metro's special sitting collapsed on Wednesday as the City entered week four without a mayor.

READ | Mayors ignored calls over 'unsafe' Joburg council building - speaker to take action after fire

After a five-hour delay, Ndzwanana adjourned the sitting, saying he needed legal advice on the status of Cope councillor Thabang Sefanyetso, who was accused of having two identity numbers.

Sefanyetso was the party's second candidate for the Tshwane mayoral position after Murunwa Makwarela resigned just days after being elected mayor. Makwarela was found to have produced a fake insolvency rehabilitation certificate when it came to light that he had been declared insolvent in 2016.

He was elected as a councillor after the 2021 municipal elections, despite the law prohibiting insolvent people from holding public office.

The party announced on Monday that it had approved a third candidate, Ofentse Moalusi, for the role.

In a statement Cope said: "Naturally, we are very disappointed with our former candidates Makwarela and Sefanyetso, who have disgraced the party and what we stand for."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Show Comments ()
Voting Booth
What's your take on the task team looking into Russian President Vladimir Putin's possible visit to SA in August?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
I doubt they'll find a legal loophole
24% - 1397 votes
Putin is coming, it's just a formality
76% - 4315 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.