Stevens Mokgalapa voted out as Tshwane mayor
The DA has been removed from power in the City of Tshwane after two motions of no confidence voted out speaker Katlego Mathebe and mayor Stevens Mokgalapa.
This comes just a day after the DA was dethroned in the City of Johannesburg by the ANC, which installed its mayor, Geoff Makhubo, to replace Herman Mashaba.
During a chaotic meeting in Tshwane on Thursday afternoon, both the ANC and the EFF came together to remove Mathebe with 110 councillors supporting the motion.
Despite the protests of the DA, which were opposed to EFF councillor Obakeng Ramabodu acting as speaker in the vote, the two parties proceeded.
Then they removed Makgalapa, who was under siege from his party and the opposition over an alleged “sex recording” featuring him and former roads and transport MMC Sheila Senkubuge.
Meanwhile earlier in the day in Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Mongameli Bobani was also voted out through a motion of no confidence.
The majority of the parties in the council chamber – DA, ANC, Patriotic Alliance, COPE, ACDP and AIC – voted in favour of DA councillor Morne Steyn’s motion.
Shortly before it came down the vote, Bobani announced that he would dissolve his mayoral committee.
He left the chamber immediately after he was ousted.
Three of the four axed municipal officials fired by former acting city manager Nobuntu Mpongwana walked into the city’s council chamber on Thursday to cheers and applause after Bobani was removed.
Minutes after Bobani was ousted, councillors voted for Anele Qaba (economic development), Walter Shaidi (infrastructure and engineering) and Noxolo Nqwazi (sport, recreation, arts and culture), and Mzwakhe Clay (municipal COO) to be reinstated as interim heads of the respective departments.
Qaba, Shaidi and Nqwazi waved and smiled as they walked to where speaker Buyelwa Mafaya sat — while Clay was not with them.
It was immediately agreed by councillors that Nqwazi take up the role as the new acting city manager.
Mpongwana immediately stepped down after Bobani was removed.
During the meeting, councillors constantly questioned why Mpongwana had taken up the position.
In a letter addressed to the “executive mayor”, Mpongwana said she had done so in the interest of the council.
“When I was approached to act as city manager, I willingly accepted the challenge, knowing it was going to be a daunting task.
“I accepted the acting position in good faith, knowing I was to do so and knowing that few persons were willing to act in the position, given the current political climate.
“However, since it is clear that the council clearly has issues with me acting as city manager, I feel it prudent to do the honourable thing.
“I hereby step down as acting city manager in order for council to appoint someone they feel comfortable with,” Mpongwana wrote.
The four officials were sacked by Mpongwana on October 7.
In letters sent to them, Mpongwana said she had received legal advice that their contracts had been extended illegally.
On February 28, the council extended the contracts of Qaba, Shaidi and Clay on a month-to-month basis until the positions were filled.
Qaba said he was thrilled to be back.
“I am of course happy to be back because, as I have said, she [Mpongwana] was illegally appointed and I am happy that justice has been served,” he said.
“We now have to deal with all the mess they have done and focus on service delivery issues for the benefit of our communities.”
Shaidi said he was forced out of office in an embarrassing manner.
“I got that instruction at 2pm and was told to vacate the office at 3.30pm.
“I am happy we are all back. Service delivery will continue now.”
Nqwazi was all smiles as she sat down next to Mafaya.
During an adjournment, Nqwazi said: “We were called to come to the council meeting and I am happy we are all back.”
-TimesLIVE and HeraldLIVE