ANC, EFF give Tshwane speaker deadline over mayor no-confidence motions

All 114 councillors of the two parties signed the petition calling for the sitting on Wednesday and Thursday.

FILE: Tshwane Mayor Stevens Mokgalapa. Picture: Facebook

JOHANNESBURG – The African National Congress (ANC) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in Tshwane gave the Speaker Katlego Mathebe until 4 pm on Monday afternoon to call a council sitting for motions of no confidence in her leadership as well as that of Mayor Stevens Mokgalapa.

All 114 councillors of the two parties signed the petition calling for the sitting on Wednesday and Thursday.

ANC and EFF councillors said the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act was clear in stating that if the majority of councillors write to the speaker to convene a meeting, he or she should oblige.

They gave Mathebe until Monday afternoon to object to the permissibility of their demands and to call the sitting.

“The ANC confirms that it has sent a petition for an urgent special council meeting on 4 and 5 December for the removal of both the mayor and speaker through motions of no confidence,” said ANC regional chairperson Kgosi Maepa.

Last week, the two parties voted together to appoint acting city manager Augustine Makgata, who assumed office on Sunday.

The ANC wanted Makgata to act as mayor but the Democratic Alliance (DA) insisted its appointment of MMC Abel Tau as acting mayor remained in place.

With its 92 seats of a total of 214, the DA was unlikely to block the no-confidence votes even if smaller parties vote with it.

The absence of a deputy executive mayor in Tshwane appeared to be the reason why the ANC and DA could face-off on the appointment of an acting mayor.

The Municipal Structures Act stated that the deputy executive mayor exercised the powers and performed the duties of the executive mayor if the executive mayor is absent, not available or if the office of the executive mayor is vacant.

Professor Jaap de Visser, a director at the Dullah Omar Institute, said both parties were therefore wrong about who should perform the duties of Mokgalapa.

“It would not be legal for an official to take over that role. The only scenario where the most senior official in the municipality can take over the political role is when the entire top structure of the political leadership of the municipality is vacated,” he said.