Lebogang Maile suspends two DA councillors in Joburg and Tshwane

23 January 2020 - 11:51
By Kgothatso Madisa
Former Johannesburg council speaker Vasco da Gama
Image: Gallo Images / Beeld / Felix Dlangamandla Former Johannesburg council speaker Vasco da Gama

Two DA councillors have been suspended without pay by the Gauteng MEC for Human Settlements, Urban Planning and CoGTA Lebogang Maile on Thursday.

Tshwane speaker Katlego Mathebe and former Johannesburg speaker Vasco da Gama have been suspended for six and three months respectively without pay.

The suspension of Mathebe comes as Maile is planning to put the municipality under administration. He said that he was suspending her for attempting to keep herself in power by stopping planned motions of no confidence in herself.

Mathebe was, in January, accused of denying ANC and EFF councillor’s request to include a motion of no confidence in the agenda which led to the collapse of the council meeting.

Following this, Maile wrote to Mathebe requesting her to explain why the meeting collapsed and later wrote to her requesting a meeting which she rejected by saying that she was still applying her mind.

These events coupled, with a collapse of another council meeting in December where Mathebe recused herself from presiding at the eleventh hour, according to Maile are unacceptable and warrant for her suspension.

“The transgressions by the Speaker are by their nature aggravating and warrant her removal from office,” Maile said.

“Also, the collapse of two Council meetings under her watch directly contributed to fruitless and wasteful expenditure, as the convening of Council requires resources to be spent, which are quite substantial when looked at from a service delivery perspective.”

Da Gama’s suspension was hinged on him requesting a legal opinion on what constituted a majority in the vote for a new Johannesburg mayor where ANC’s Geoff Makhubo was ultimately victorious.

Maile said Da Gama had contravened the code of conduct for councillors and therefore regarded him as a “constitutional delinquent”.