Maile flouting the law by putting Tshwane under admin

It is clear that Gauteng cooperative governance and traditional affairs MEC Lebogang Maile does not quite understand the law, the writer says.
It is clear that Gauteng cooperative governance and traditional affairs MEC Lebogang Maile does not quite understand the law, the writer says.
Image: Alon Skuy

In a recent article in the Sowetan, Gauteng MEC for cooperative governance Lebogang Maile truly takes his own delusion, constitutional delinquency and illiteracy to soaring new heights.

The article is nothing short of an act of desperation. The MEC flails around in his attempt to justify the unjustifiable in moving to place the City of Tshwane under administration and invoke section 139(c) of the constitution in announcing the dissolution of council.

It is somewhat astounding to witness how the MEC makes absolutely no mention of the ANC's role in driving the collapse of the City of Tshwane. For the last three months, the ANC in Tshwane has been deliberately collapsing council meetings or at times not even bothering to pitch up.

This is a fact, it is undeniable. There is evidence of it, there are videos of councillors physically restraining acting speaker Zweli Khumalo from his duties, photographs of empty ANC council seats during the start of meetings, and minutes detailing the collapse of these meetings.

The MEC accuses the DA of being delusional about the state of Tshwane, yet he has been well aware of the chaos being wrought by his political party and has done nothing.

Look how he so gleefully attempts to quote section 139(c) of the constitution in the hope that everyone will follow his own delusion. Yet he fails to even mention another critical piece of local government legislation - the Systems Act.

MEC, it is clear you don't quite understand the law, nor do you have an adequate hold on the powers that are given to you. In the Systems Act you should know that there is the Councillors' Code of Conduct.

You should also know that section 3 of the code states very clearly that councillors must attend all meetings of council. But wait, it gets even better for you, section 14 makes provision for you to investigate councillors who contravene the code and even suspend or fire them.

Wait a minute, but you do know this, because you tried to suspend Katlego Mathebe, the speaker of Tshwane, and Vasco da Gama in Johannesburg on January 23.

We, in the DA, then served you with legal papers. Alas, it never went to court, because four days later you rescinded this decision. Based on the above example, I think we can agree that you don't know how the Systems Act works.

Had you properly understood how it works, then one can only assume that you would have commissioned investigations into the ANC councillors that have been collapsing the Tshwane council. I mean surely, you would have moved swiftly to discipline the councillors who forcibly stopped Khumalo from conducting his duties.

I understand though, we all have our strengths and weakness and it's clear that as MEC your weakness is having no understanding of the legislation that pertains to cooperative governance and traditional affairs.

MEC, in your article you said you "dared not stand aside and fiddle while Rome burns". I am so grateful that you used this idiom because it aptly describes what you have been doing in this province while various ANC-run municipalities have collapsed around you. For example, just last week we watched as Eskom began seizing the vehicles that belong to Emfuleni because the municipality's debt had spiralled into billions of rands.

You talk of delusion MEC, yet there can be no greater delusion than that of you and you colleagues deploying yourselves into public meetings around Tshwane trying to score political points.

Msimanga is the DA caucus leader in Gauteng .

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