The week’s politics wrapped up: the growing crisis in Gauteng City Councils

By Tshegofatso Makola

This week has been quite eventful in all things politics, moreover in the City Councils of the big three in Gauteng: the cities of Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Tshwane.

With the ongoing issues in each council respectively, one questions whether our local municipalities are really in good hands.

Mpho Phalatse vs. Colleen Makhubele

The cat and dog battle in Johannesburg between former Mayor, Mpho Phalatse and current Speaker Colleen Makhubele showcased itself once again this week, ahead of the Council sitting that took place yesterday.

This comes as the Makhubele accused Phalatse of concealing a forensic report that cleared the acting City Manager of the time, Floyd Brink of any wrongdoing, for what Makhubele alleges was for her preferred candidate to take the position.

Makhubele has accused Phalatse of cadre deployment for what she has been described as unethical practices which saw Phalatse and Brink having a secret meeting before the interviews for the position.

Brink is known for being implicated in a forensic report of noncompliance after he allegedly approved two transactions of gross amounts for the purchase of CCTV equipment among others.

With the accusations against Phalatse being damaging, the DA Caucus Leader in Johannesburg and former mayor, has since clapped back at these allegations, expressing that the DA rejects the Joburg Speaker’s “witch hunt with the contempt it deserves.”

According to Phalatse, the attack on DA Councillors is insulting, adding that it’s clear that Makhubele and her allies have no intention to fight corruption nor deliver services.

“The devious actions of the Speaker and her allies seek to distract residents from the already visible and detrimental feelings of the Executive Mayor, Cllr Thapelo Amad, and his Mayoral Committee.”- Mpho Phalatse

Cllr Colleen Makhubele

Raymond Dhlamini booted out of office

Following weeks of Council collapses and a court appearance, the Speaker of the Ekurhuleni City Council, Raymond Dhlamini has officially been removed through a motion of no confidence yesterday.

The previous two are known to have collapsed with the second one especially, seeing the Speaker of Council, Raymond Dhlamini as well as the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Freedom Front Plus leave the Council.

This did not stop proceedings, as the majority of the council was present.

Following this decision, the City Manager was able to take over as Speaker of the Council, where thereafter she called for the Council to elect an Acting Speaker. 

Dhlamini was subsequently voted out by 126 councillors from the EFF, ANC, and several smaller parties, and EFF councillor Nthabiseng Tshivhenga was elected as the acting speaker of council. 

Dhlamini took the matter to court and saw himself reinstated as Speaker last week. 

This however was short-lived, as the Super Seven, consisting of the main members: the African National Congress (ANC), Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), and Patriotic Alliance (PA), were insistent that Dhlamini would be voted out in a motion of no-confidence once again.

Cllr. Raymond Dhlamini

With Dhlamini no longer occupying the position of Speaker, the EFF’s Nthabiseng Tshivhenga has been elected as acting speaker for the council again.

The unspoken strategy of the EFF and its coalition seems to be taking shape, with the next order of business being the removal of Tania Campbell as the mayor of Ekurhuleni, to occupy that position as well.

City with no mayor, could the Speaker be dealt with the same fate? 

Cllr. Randall Williams

It has been over a week since the former Executive Mayor of Tshwane announced his resignation.

With attempts to withdraw its immediacy, the Speaker of the Tshwane, Dr Murunwa Makwarela rejected this, which left the City under the care of the acting mayor and MMC of Finance, Peter Sutton.

The DA has since expressed its hopes to put forward Cilliers Brink as a mayoral elect, and has since received quite a backing.

Meanwhile, the Speaker of Council, Dr Makwarela could see his tenure in office come to an end as opposition parties that form a part of his coalition could potentially remove him in a motion of no-confidence next week.

This comes due to what has been described as “Makwarela’s deliberate action of refusing to convene a special council meeting to elect a new mayor”.

With the Council set to meet for a sitting next week, two important things will definitely lead the agenda: the tabling of a motion of no-confidence and the election of a new speaker.

This week has undoubtedly showed the true nature of municipal politics. No coalitions are truly stable and nor are Council positions.

Article Tags

Mpho Phalatse

Colleen Makhubele

Raymond Dhlamini

Randall Williams



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