DA back in charge in Tshwane

Stevens Mokgalapa. File picture.
Stevens Mokgalapa. File picture.
Image: DA

The DA is back in charge of  Tshwane after the high court in Pretoria suspended motions that led to the sacking of mayor Stevens Mokgalapa and speaker Katlego Mathebe.

The party sought an urgent interdict in the North Gauteng high court, challenging resolutions taken in council on Thursday night which resulted in the appointment of EFF councillor Obakeng Ramabudo as acting speaker and left a vacancy in the mayoral office.

The meeting turned chaotic when both EFF and ANC councillors prevented deputy speaker Zweli Khumalo from presiding over the meeting. In the ensuing chaos, co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) deputy director-general Willy Bhila, presided over the election of Ramabudo.

But the court on Friday suspended all the council resolutions and granted the DA an urgent hearing, but only on December 17, to allow all the affected parties to file court papers.

“Pending the finalisation of these applications, all resolutions passed by the Tshwane council on December 5 2019 at its special council meeting and its continuation meeting are suspended and of no effect,” reads the order.

It says the suspension includes the election of Ramabudo as the acting speaker and the passing of motions on both Mokgalapa and Mathebe. This means the mayor and speaker will remain in office pending finalisation of the court case.

The DA released a statement welcoming the ruling.

"The DA welcomes the North Gauteng High Court’s decision this morning to suspend the resolutions taken by the African National Congress (ANC) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) at the Tshwane special council yesterday, to illegally appoint an acting speaker and remove mayor Stevens Mokgalapa and speaker Katlego Mathebe from office," said DA Gauteng chairperson Mike Moriarty.

"We note that the coup d’etat was overturned by the court and their banana republic behaviour was crushed. The outcome of this ruling means that the DA mayor and speaker will retain their positions until the matter is heard in the same high court on 17 December 2019.

"The DA will not allow this coalition of corruption to reverse the three years of good work done by the DA-led administration in the City of Tshwane. It is certain that in the case of the Tshwane Council yesterday, ignorance allied with power is the most ferocious enemy justice can have," he said.

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