News24 Wire
Wire Service
3 minute read
20 Jan 2020
9:18 pm

Cogta wants to ensure Tshwane council concludes motions of no confidence

News24 Wire

Because the special council meeting collapsed, the agenda was to be heard along with the ordinary council meeting set for Thursday.

EFF and ANC councillors can be seen walking out of the Tshwane council meeting, collapsing Council, 16 January 2020. Picture: Jacques Nelles

The Gauteng Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) is looking at options to ensure the Tshwane council concludes the motions of no confidence which were not attended to after the council collapsed last week.

The special council meeting – tasked with handling four motions of no confidence against the mayor, speaker, acting speaker and chair of chairs – descended into chaos after the sequence of the motions could not be agreed on.

The ANC and EFF, which petitioned Speaker Katlego Mathebe for the meeting, staged a walkout after accusing her of stonewalling their request to decide the order in which the motions should be heard.

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 against 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.

They wanted the motion against Mathebe to be heard first.

She refused to allow the parties to decide the sequence and dismissed requests to recuse herself to allow the department to run the meeting.

On Monday, Gauteng Human Settlements, Urban Planning and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Lebogang Maile said the department was looking at options to ensure the next council, sitting on January 30, would conclude its unfinished business.

Because the special council meeting collapsed, the agenda was to be heard along with the ordinary council meeting set for Thursday.

“We have various options and on Thursday, January 23, I promise the citizens of Tshwane that we will act decisively and make sure that when the council sits, it will conclude its business,” Maile said.

“We are weighing our options, and later in the week we will make an announcement that will hopefully bring finality to the situation in Tshwane and that will ultimately ensure that a council meeting is going to take place and proceed without any hindrance.”

Maile called on political parties in the council to act in the best interest of Tshwane’s residents and make sure they all work to find a solution.

While not disclosing what measures the department would take, Maile said it would not impose a solution onto council.

“The [council] is still a duly constituted council and therefore should find a solution to resolve its issues.”

Following the collapse of the meeting, Maile requested a detailed report from Mathebe and called for a meeting with the speaker to ventilate the issues surrounding the current state of the council.

However, according to Maile, the request was declined by the speaker’s office “without appreciating the gravity of the matter or compelling reasons” except to say the speaker was applying her mind on the letters received and she would not be available on Monday.

Maile said he would give the speaker until the end of business on Monday to send a response in terms of the outcomes of her applying her mind.

“We will await her response. We have not made any follow-up after the speaker indicated she is not available,” he added.

News24 contacted the speaker’s office but comment was not immediately available and will be added once received.

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