South Africa: Maile Calls for Urgent Meeting With City of Tshwane Speaker Over Chaotic Council Meeting

Gauteng Human Settlements, Urban Planning and Cogta MEC Lebogang Maile has called for an urgent meeting with the City of Tshwane speaker following the chaotic events that unfolded during a special council meeting on Thursday.

The sitting - which was meant to deal with motions of no confidence against the mayor, speaker, acting speaker and the chair of chairs - descended into pandemonium as parties battled over the sequence of the motions.

Arguments led to shouting matches, disruptions, protests and a scuffle between ANC members and the chief of staff in the speaker's office.

Speaker Katlego Mathebe refused to bend to calls by the ANC and EFF to change the order in which the motions would be heard, or to recuse herself, which ultimately led to the collapse of council as the two parties staged a walkout.

Cogta intervention

In a statement on Friday, Maile said he viewed the chaotic scenes as a reflection of a "leadership lacuna" in council and a total disregard for Tshwane residents by parties represented in council.

Maile requested a detailed explanation from Mathebe about the "unfortunate and embarrassing scenes" that unfolded during council.

He is also awaiting a report from Cogta officials who were deployed to observe the meeting on Thursday.

Following the council meeting, Tshwane ANC chairperson Kgosi Maepa said that they would be writing to Maile to lay a complaint against Mathebe, asking that her conduct be investigated.

Just before walking out of council, Tshwane EFF chairperson Moafrika Mabogwane told Mathebe that she had become a law unto herself and that they would be writing to Cogta to complain about her "bullying" behaviour.

"We can't continue to be in a council where we are oppressed as a majority of councillors," Mabogwane said.

Sequence of the agenda

News24 previously reported that, according to the agenda set up by Mathebe, the motion against Mayor Stevens Mokgalapa was supposed to be heard first, followed by acting speaker Zweli Khumalo, the chair of chairs, and lastly Mathebe.

Both the ANC and EFF were unhappy about the sequence of the motions and argued they should be able to set the sequence, as they had petitioned for the meeting to be held in the first place.

Mathebe stonewalled this request. She also turned down requests to allow Cogta to take over the meeting, saying that she would not allow the department to interfere in council business.

ANC chief whip Aaron Maluleka believed Mathebe's sequence of the motions was to allow herself to preside over the first three motions with the intention of blocking them.

"She was going to do that [block the motions]. Her first intention that demonstrated that was for her to change the agenda," he said.

DA Gauteng leader John Moodey denied this, saying the speaker was tasked to draft the agenda according to standard practice.

In a statement on Friday, Moodey said the ANC's and EFF's demands to change the sequence were against council protocol.

"The City of Tshwane's rules and orders by-laws provide in Section 8(3) that the order of business at a special meeting of council is determined by the speaker," he said.

However, according to Section 18 (5), motions must be dated, numbered and placed on the agenda by the speaker in the order in which it was received.

The ANC claimed that, when they petitioned the speaker, the motion of no confidence against Mathebe was first on the agenda.

Moodey said the fracas in council by the ANC and EFF was an indication that both parties were not sure of each other's support in their joint attempt to unseat the DA in Tshwane.

Source: News24

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