City of Johannesburg speaker denies Phalatse's 'gift' claim

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Mpho Phalatse.
Mpho Phalatse.
PHOTO: Papi Morake/Gallo Images
  • Mpho Phalatse on Thursday told the media she had been sent a gift, purportedly from City of Johannesburg speaker Colleen Makhubele.
  • Phalatse said she found the gift "strange".
  • Makhubele has reacted to the claim and denied that she sent Phalatse a bag.

City of Johannesburg speaker Colleen Makhubele on Friday said she didn't send a bag to former mayor Mpho Phalatse.

On Thursday, Phalatse claimed the speaker's office sent her a bag. Hours later, Phalatse was ousted as City of Johannesburg mayor in a motion of no confidence.

Speaking at the 13th extraordinary council sitting on Friday, Makhubele addressed Phalatse and the media.

Addressing Phalatse by her middle name Louisa, Makhubele said: "The speaker did not send a bag to the office of the mayor [with a note reading 'pack your bags']."

Makhubele took issue with Phalatse raising the matter with the media.

On Thursday, when Phalatse told the media about receiving the bag, a journalist asked her whether the bag was accompanied by a note which read "It's time to pack your bags".

The former said she did not see what was attached to the bag.

Phalatse said she found the gift "strange".

Mayoral candidates

Meanwhile, three candidates have been nominated for the vacant mayoral position – Al Jama-ah councillor Thapelo Amad, ActionSA councillor Funzi Ngobeni and the DA's Phalatse.

As was the case on Thursday, the leaders of various parties, including Al Jama-ah, were present in the auditorium.

PA leaders Gayton McKenzie and Kenny Kunene were also in council. They were seen conversing with Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi.

The Al Jama-ah leaders also took photos with the PA leaders just before the break, which was called early to allow Muslim councillors to attend afternoon prayers.

The leaders are in council to ensure that what happened in the Ekurhuleni metro last year wasn't repeated. In November, the ANC, EFF and opposition parties failed to reach a power-sharing agreement, paving the way for the DA's Tania Campbell to return as mayor after she was removed in a motion of no confidence vote.

Lesufi's presence is said to be a direction from national leaders.

Voting for the new mayor will begin on Friday afternoon once the councillors have returned after the adjournment.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional information about the claims.

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