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JHB ANC pushes ahead to elect Speaker Da Gama’s replacement

But the Democratic Alliance (DA) said this was an illegal gathering, arguing that it was only Da Gama who could convene it.

Democratic Alliance councillor Vasco da Gama elected as new Johannesburg Council Speaker. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Amid disagreements about whether Vasco da Gama is still the speaker of the Joburg Council, the African National Congress (ANC) said his replacement would be elected at a special sitting on Wednesday.

But the Democratic Alliance (DA) said this was an illegal gathering, arguing that it was only Da Gama who could convene it.

Last week, chair of chairs Alex Christians first ruled that a motion of confidence to remove Da Gama succeeded, but following an objection by the DA, it was then overturned.

The rules of council state that it needs a 50% plus one for a motion to pass.

The ANC's Jolidee Matongo said they would be putting forward councillor Nonceba Molwele's name forward on Wednesday afternoon.

“When we have a vacancy of a speaker, the city manager must convene a council meeting to elect a speaker. As far as we’re concerned, there is no court order to prevent the meeting.”

In order for that to happen, there needs to be a quorum of more than 136 votes in Wednesday’s meeting but that might prove difficult as the DA encouraged its councillors not to attend.

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