Tshwane DA defies David Makhura

Gauteng cooperative governance MEC Lebogang Maile says the move to elect a new mayor for the Tshwane metro is futile. / ALON SKUY
Gauteng cooperative governance MEC Lebogang Maile says the move to elect a new mayor for the Tshwane metro is futile. / ALON SKUY

Gauteng cooperative governance MEC Lebogang Maile has labelled Tshwane metro's move to elect a new mayor tomorrow as a "futile exercise".

This comes after the province announced last week that it has started steps to place the Tshwane metro under administration.

A special sitting has been called tomorrow to elect a new mayor, appoint an acting city manager and pass its adjusted budget.

This is despite Gauteng premier David Makhura and Maile announcing last week that the metro would be put under administration after it found itself without a mayor, a city manager and had not passed a budget after failing to have a council meeting since the year started.

All its meeting had to be abandoned after they had failed to quorate, mainly due to the ANC and the EFF walking out after disagreements with then speaker Katlego Mathebe.

Maile told Sowetan yesterday that the process to put Tshwane under administration was already under way.

"If the DA [in Tshwane] wants to meet, it's fine but it won't change our decision.

"We remain convinced that our decision is correct and will stand the test in court," Maile said.

He added: "We are aware of the threat to subject our decision to court by the DA. We are ready to meet them in court."

Maile said it did not make sense to elect a new mayor as the Tshwane council would be dissolved soon.

"It's a futile exercise to elect a mayor because after a few days council will have been dissolved," Maile said.

After council is dissolved, Tshwane will be forced to head back to the polls to elect a new government.

DA provincial chairperson Mike Moriarty said there's nothing untoward with the move by the party in Tshwane.

"The premier may have announced [that Tshwane will be put under administration] but it's not under administration until all the processes are concluded, that includes the concurrence of the minister and NCOP, so it's anticipated that they may be a declining of the decision of the MEC and the city needs to carry on."

Moriarty said the decision by Makhura and Maile seemed to be aimed at rewarding the EFF and the ANC for having repeatedly collapsed council meetings by walking out of sittings.

He described the move as the "unseating of a democratically elected government", which they plan to challenge in court from tomorrow.

Maile said the provincial government's decision had already been communicated to the minister of Cogta Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the chairperson of NCOP, the speaker of the Gauteng legislature and Tshwane city council.

"This is the process outlined in the law. They have 14 days to respond whether they are in concurrence or not, after which the decision will be effected," Maile said.

The notice for tomorrow's council meeting was called by Tshwane acting speaker Zweli Khumalo.

The ANC in Tshwane, which is preparing for the early polls in the capital, described Khumalo's council meeting notice as illegal.

The ANC's branch executive committee in Tshwane held a meeting yesterday to discuss its campaigns for the looming elections, including embarking on door-to-door campaigns.

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