Tshwane Council to be without a mayor for much longer as DA councillors walk out
By Tshegofatso Makola
Another day with no mayor once again in Tshwane. This is as the only matter on the Council sitting agenda- the voting of the new mayor of the City did not take place.
The Tshwane Council has been left in shambles once again, following hours of caucus breaks and lack of decorum among Councillors, and the walking out of the DA-led coalition.
The Council was expected to vote for the new Executive Mayor, following a week of the position being vacant. This is as the former Mayor, Dr Murunwa Makwarela resigned amid political turmoil and allegations of fraud against him.
Following the announcement of the Cllr. Mncedi Ndzwanana as the new Speaker on Monday, it was decided that a special Council sitting would be convened on Friday, 17 March 2023, which would fall on the same day as the ANC-led ‘Buya Tshwane’ march.
With Council members having convened for the special sitting, it was brought to all’s attention that an additional two members of ActionSA had their membership terminated for allegedly voting with the opposition in the mayoral race between the DA’s Cilliers Brink and COPE’s Dr Murunwa Makwarela.
The termination of their membership comes as another Councillor within the party, Nkele Molapo was also expelled as announced on Monday.
This leaves the DA-led coalition with fewer seats which could see the results of the Mayoral race having a much smaller margin.
Another seat was also left vacant from COPE, following a letter issued by the City of Johannesburg Speaker, Colleen Makhubele. The letter announced the suspension of Thabang Sefanyetso from the party and removal as a Councillor in Tshwane.
We caught up with the DA’s Cilliers Brink, who applauded ActionSA for what he described as discipline, adding that he was not confident that the Councillor vacancies would be filled before the vote took place.
Following the resumption of the sitting, the DA raised its concerns over the validity of Council members’ membership in Council and brought to the Councillors’ attention that COPE’s new PR Councillor has two ID numbers. Given these claims, the DA called for the postponement of the sitting until Wednesday next week to give the Speaker time to get legal advice on the issue.
The Speaker of the Council Mncedi Ndzwanana denied the request but adjourned the meeting until 7 pm to get legal advice.
The return of the caucus saw the DA unsatisfied and leaving the Council, which saw members of its coalition also leave. The minimum amount of Councillors needed to meet the quorum was subsequently not met and the Council sitting was adjourned.
With the City still without a mayor, time is ticking as the Adjustment Budget in Tshwane still needs to be passed before the end of March, or the City could face being placed under administration.