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DA backs Solly Msimanga as no-confidence motion looms

If the motion succeeds, Tshwane will be the second metro that the DA-led coalition governments lose after Nelson Mandela Bay.

FILE: Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga. Picture: @SollyMsimanga/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – As Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga prepares to face a motion of no confidence on Thursday morning, the Democratic Alliance (DA)’s federal executive has reiterated its support for him, saying that he has done well as the city’s number one citizen.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the African National Congress (ANC) have tabled separate motions and if they vote together they have enough numbers to push Msimanga out.

If the motion succeeds, Tshwane will be the second metro that the DA-led coalition governments lose after Nelson Mandela Bay.

The DA’s federal council has decided it will not field another candidate to replace Msimanga as suggested by the EFF.

It has instead thrown its support behind the mayor.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane says: “He’s invested himself in eradicating corruption, for that was a promise we made to the electorate. It’s always about the people.”

He says the party will not be dictated to by the EFF.

“In what universe should we say to ourselves, let the EFF dictate to us that we must remove somebody who’s done their job?”

The Tshwane council will sit at 10am this morning.

MSIMANGA'S FATE SEALED?

Msimanga is just hours away from finding out if he will have a job by the end of the day.

The EFF and the ANC have enough numbers for the motion to succeed.

Some people may argue that Msimanga’s fate is already sealed because on Wednesday the DA’s federal executive held an urgent special meeting and decided not to entertain the EFF’s proposal that they field another candidate to take over from the mayor.

ANC, DA and EFF make up the majority of seats. The DA has 93 seats, the ANC 89 and the EFF 25.

For the motion of no confidence in Msimanga to succeed, it must be given a thumbs up by 108 councillors.

The EFF and the ANC have more than that.

Maimane says there will be consequences to removing the DA from government.

“If it so happens that the DA-led coalition is removed, it’s not just that the DA-led coalition, it’s clean government, it’s investment. It’s ensuring that the resources of the people are spent on the people.”

MOTION

The big question is: what does this mean for the DA? Especially as the country draws closer to elections in 2019.

The kingmakers in the Tshwane council, the EFF, have made it clear they don’t want Msimanga as mayor anymore and they’ve committed to voting with the ANC for the election of the new mayor.

But Maimane said the party’s federal council has decided it will not field another candidate.

“So come tomorrow’s council meeting, we will not be fielding a different candidate. The caucus in Tshwane is resolute, the DA and the federal council executive is resolute on this matter. We stand united behind Solly Msimanga.”

If this is the case, then Msimanga is as good as out, given that the EFF and the ANC have enough numbers to oust him.

DA READY TO BE OPPOSITION PARTY IN TSHWANE

The DA said it’s ready to be an opposition party in Tshwane as Msimanga prepares to face a motion of no confidence.

This decision by the DA has arguably sealed the deal, and it will likely see Msimanga out as mayor.

This is because the ANC has already indicated it’s willing to support the EFF's motion of no confidence in Msimanga and abandon its own.

But the two parties may only disagree on who takes over from the mayor.

Maimane said they are ready to be in opposition.

“Of course we are ready to be an opposition. We’re not in the government for our own jackets but for the people.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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