DA in Tshwane calls on Cogta MEC Lebogang Maile to stop the 'big lies'

Gauteng MEC for human settlements, urban planning and cooperative governance Lebogang Maile.  (Alet Pretorius/Gallo Images)
Gauteng MEC for human settlements, urban planning and cooperative governance Lebogang Maile. (Alet Pretorius/Gallo Images)

The war of words between the DA and the Gauteng government over the Tshwane municipality has continued, even after both parties approached the courts over its fate.

This week, the DA filed papers asking the court to apply Rule 18 (3) so that its judgment overturning the dissolution of the metro's council is effective immediately.

READ | DA ready to fight back if there's an appeal

The move follows the EFF's and Gauteng government's applications to the Constitutional Court last week for leave to appeal.

On Friday the DA's Tshwane mayoral candidate, Randall Abrahams, Gauteng chairperson Mike Moriarty and several other regional leaders, held a virtual media briefing slamming Gauteng Human Settlements, Urban Planning and Cogta MEC Lebogang Maile for "spreading lies" and to stop "defending the indefensible" in a bid to support the province's decision to approach the apex court.

On Wednesday, Maile was joined by some of the administrators he appointed to the capital city after the council was dissolved, to give a progress report on their bid to clean up the troubled municipality.

The MEC slammed the party, saying it had left Tshwane riddled with problems.

He claimed administrators uncovered various irregularities and financial mismanagement since taking over control of the City.

READ MORE | Tshwane administrators rope in SARS to clean up capital city

Williams insisted the collapse of the metro was due to the ANC and the EFF's behaviour in the council.

"His destructive lies are intended to defend the ANC and EFF's appeal against the landmark scathing High Court judgment setting aside his unlawful decision to place the Tshwane council under administration," said Williams.

The DA Tshwane mayoral candidate continued to list the "big lies" attributed to Maile.

These included the MEC's comments on irregular expenditure, delayed revenue collection in the City, the underspending of grants, the adjustment budgets, legal disputes as well as the medium-term revenue and expenditure framework (MTREF) for 2020/2021.

Williams, who referred to the administrators as "henchmen", accused the team led by former West Rand Mayor Mpho Nawa as failing to draft a revised IDP (integrated development plan) and MTREF for the new financial year, which he said was one of the important responsibilities entrusted to the municipality.

READ | 'You will face the law', ex-Tshwane councillors warned amid 'illegal trading permit' scandal

"This has not been tabled for purposes of public participation. Community participation is one of the corner stones of our Constitution.

"The approval of a funded budget and revised IDP incorporating the views of stakeholders on applicable service delivery challenges, municipal service charges and property rates, is critical to a municipality's ability to be sustainable and to fulfil its constitutional mandate," Williams pointed out.

Attempts to have contact meetings have been halted due to the global coronavirus pandemic, which has infected millions and killed hundreds of thousands across the globe, but Williams claims Nawa's team has also failed to make use of media platforms to do this.

The DA has raised concern over the administrators, with Moriarty previously expressing frustrations that they only accounted to the MEC.

Meanwhile, the EFF in the capital city has criticised the administrators for failing to insource security at the municipality.

In a statement released by regional chairperson Moafrica Mabogoane, the party said it was disappointed that the issue, which it’ has been campaigning for in the council since 2017 and set aside money for last year, had still not materialised.

"The partisan posture that Mr Mpho Nawa has adopted is very worrisome to us and we are deeply concerned about what might be happening during these 90 days, given that there is no oversight," said Mabogwane, who also warned the administrators to guard against corrupt activities while in charge of the capital city.

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