DA’s Katlego Mathebe, Vasco da Gama suspended - MEC Maile

Gauteng Cooperative MEC Lebogang Maile announced the suspensions a short while ago during a press briefing.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Tshwane Speaker Katlego Mathebe and former Johannesburg Speaker Vasco da Gama have been suspended.

Gauteng Cooperative MEC Lebogang Maile announced the suspensions on Thursday during a press briefing.

Mathebe has been suspended for six months following her failure to preside over a council meeting.

The MEC described Da Gama as a constitutional delinquent over his decision last year to postpone the vote for a new Johannesburg mayor.

“We have decided to suspend the former (Johannesburg) speaker as a councillor for a period of three months without pay from today. We served him with that letter. This sanction has been used to send a strong message that nobody should ever play politics to the detriment of our residents.”

Maile said officials should be held accountable for what he calls “despicable actions”.

“It is our carefully considered view that the speaker placed her personal interests, to remain the speaker by any means necessary, above the needs of residents.”

Maile said the decision to suspend Da Gama and Mathebe was consistent with the law and did not favour any political party.

Maile believed his decision was strengthening local government by ensuring those elected into positions of responsibility were held accountable.

Maile has suspended Da Gama and Mathebe for allegedly breaching the code of conduct of council.
He insisted that the move was not a vehicle to drive an ANC agenda.

Meanwhile, the DA said it would take the MEC to court for political harassment following the suspension its councillors.