D-Day for Mashaba finally comes

Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba.
Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba.
Image: ARNOLD PRONTO

Someone is going to cry between the two of you. These were the words used by the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters in the Johannesburg council‚ Musa Novela‚ on Monday.

His warning was issued to both the African National Congress and the Democratic Alliance‚ who will battle it out on Thursday in a motion of no confidence against Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba and speaker of council Vasco da Gama.

The EFF gave the DA power in August 2016‚ ending the reign of the ANC in the country’s economic hub.

The ANC has tabled a motion of no confidence in Mashaba‚ arguing that he is running the city into the ground.

During a council meeting on Monday‚ Mashaba did not make a speech on his items on the agenda but simply requested councillors to consider the documents submitted by his office.

Novela’s warning came after the ANC agreed with a proposal on inner city renewal‚ a move that the EFF rejected.

The EFF rejected the proposal on the grounds that it gave no indication as to how it will enable the poor and black people play a role in the property market of the inner city.

The ANC and the DA agreed on the proposal but the EFF warned “ukhona ozokhala la‚ kusasa”.

In September‚ an urgent application by the ANC to compel council to hear the motion was struck off the roll after the South Gauteng High Court said it lacked urgency.

The ANC had gone to court after the programming committee rejected the motion on the basis that it did not comply with the rules of council.

The ANC has always maintained that Mashaba is failing the residents of Johannesburg and should be removed from office.

Mashaba has constantly rejected the motions and earlier this month said: “As I have stated before‚ the ANC’s motions have nothing to do with protecting good governance and ensuring service delivery to residents. Rather‚ these are the actions of a party only interested in self-gratification and continuing the corruption which allowed them to rob the residents of this city blind.”

Since taking office‚ Mashaba’s flagship programmes have been fighting corruption and rebuilding the inner city as an anchor on which to create jobs and generate 5% annual economic growth.

In the fight to rebuild the inner city‚ Mashaba has raided hijacked buildings‚ some of which are owned by the city‚ in order to turn them into low-cost housing.

But his programme has been criticised for failing to provide suitable alternative accommodation to the people who lived in the hijacked buildings.

Mashaba has also been criticised by the ANC for his “xenophobic” statements when talking about foreigners living in Johannesburg.

On more than one occasion‚ Mashaba has publicly stated that there is no guarantee that he will finish his term. His fate and that of Da Gama will be decided on Thursday.

The ANC needs just the majority of the votes in council to remove Mashaba and Da Gama.

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