DA looks set to lose power in Tshwane

Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga.
Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga.

City of Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga is likely go to bed tonight an ordinary councillor. The ANC and EFF are expected to vote him out of office.

Should this happen at today’s council meeting‚ his party‚ the DA‚ will lose power in the municipality‚ which it has run through a coalition‚ supported by the EFF. The EFF and ANC both tabled a motion of no confidence in Msimanga over a R12-billion consultancy tender‚ which led to the suspension of city manager Moeketsi Mosola last week.

The two parties have a majority of 112 councillors‚ enough to remove Msimanga. EFF leader Julius Malema had called on the DA to nominate another candidate from the party to take over from Msimanga‚ but following an urgent meeting on Wednesday‚ leader Mmusi Maimane refused to do so.

“We stand firmly and resolutely behind the mayor of Tshwane‚" Maimane said at a press briefing following the meeting. "Come tomorrow [Thursday]‚ we will not be presenting a different candidate‚" he added. Maimane’s pronouncements come amid rumours of divisions within the DA caucus in Tshwane‚ where some party members are said to be ready to vote with the ANC and EFF to oust Msimanga. Although the outcome of the meeting is a boost for Msimanga internally‚ it may prove to be the downfall of the party in Tshwane.

This will come just three days after the EFF teamed up with opposition parties to oust DA chairman Athol Trollip as mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality.

At yesterday’s press conference‚ Maimane slammed the relationship between the ANC and EFF‚ labelling it corrupt.

He could not give reasons for the EFF ditching the DA in favour of the ANC.

“What’s changed? The only thing I can assume has changed is that Jacob Zuma was removed [as state president] and a faction that’s favourable to the EFF has now gone back to government. It’s the only thing I can think has changed‚” said Maimane.

He said before the motion in Tshwane‚ the DA had worked well with the EFF and had consulted the party regularly.

“We are not the ones who are losing here. The people [in the] municipalities are going to lose‚” he said.

Maimane said Msimanga had been fighting corruption in Tshwane and had worked to cut the budget deficit. 

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