The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Johannesburg says it’s been vindicated and that DA speaker in the City of Joburg Council, Vasco da Gama, is still in charge after the council adopted its previous minutes stating that the motion of no confidence against him failed.
DA council caucus leader and party regional chairperson for Joburg Funzela Ngobeni said yesterday the council approved the minutes of its meeting on 4 and 6 December last year when the anti-Da Gama motion was debated.
The minutes reflected that acting speaker Alex Christians initially ruled the motion had passed but later, following objections raised by the DA and the Economic Freedom Fighters, Christians resolved that the motion against Da Gama had failed.
According to Ngobeni, the minutes implied that the acting speaker’s ruling meant that Da Gama remained the speaker.
But the ANC maintained that the status quo remained and that its councillor Nonceba Molwele was the speaker.
“That council has approved the minutes is a clear indication that council accepts the sequence and veracity of events that unfolded in that meeting which resulted in the motion of no confidence failing and Da Gama retaining his speakership.
“The ANC engaged in thuggish and undemocratic tactics by deliberately ignoring the acting speaker’s final ruling which was today affirmed by council,” Ngobeni said.
He lashed out at cooperative governance MEC Lebogang Maile who allegedly unlawfully interfered with the process.
“Mr Maile has demonstrated on numerous occasions that his decisions are informed more by his partisan loyalty to the ANC than the constitutional rule of law.
“As the DA we have always maintained the motion of no confidence against Da Gama failed and we have steadfastly rejected the manner in which the ANC has violated all council processes to steal the legislature.”
This week Maile rescinded his decision to suspend Da Gama and Tshwane council speaker Katlego Mathebe, both DA members, after obtaining legal advice.
Ngobeni said the DA did not recognise Molwele as speaker and that Molwele had been elected despite the Da Gama issue being unresolved.