Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Lebogang Maile has denied going after the DA in Tshwane for political reasons, saying the party’s lies will be exposed in court.
“I don’t blame them – they are bruised. It’s a serious blow to them. Remember they have been spreading myths that where they govern, they govern well,” said Maile.
The DA is challenging the Gauteng government’s decision to dissolve the Tshwane metro, a move which has now been backed by the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).
Gauteng Premier David Makhura placed the country’s capital city under administration, under section 139(1)(c) of the Constitution, a move which dissolved the entire council.
The city had been rocked by political battles, with infighting among the DA’s own leaders resulting in the resignation of two mayors, both under a cloud of scandal.
“We’ve already exchanged affidavits. Looking at their affidavit, they are giving excuses that demonstrate a lack of commitment to the people of Tshwane and the fact that they want to be in power at all cost,” said Maile.
He was speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the NCOP sitting where the decision to place Tshwane under administration was debated.
“I am not that powerful; this is not my decision. This is the decision of the executive council,” said Maile, who the DA had previously tried to remove through a motion of no confidence.
“They have run out of options. They are desperate and showing signs of a dying horse,” he continued.
Eight out of nine provinces voted in favour of dissolving the council, with the Western Cape, which is run by the DA, the only one opposing.
Maile said the DA had been “spreading lies”, claiming the Gauteng ANC government had wanted to assume power.
“We have consistently said we are not disbanding the DA. We are dissolving the council, even the ANC and other parties are affected,” he said.
Maile said the government’s request for a full bench of the High Court to hear the matter was granted.
The matter is set to be heard on 24 March.
The MEC also said preparations for an administrator to take over Tshwane were in full swing and that he had met with senior managers in the capital city for a planning session in this regard.
“We will be releasing a detailed plan for 90 days in terms of dealing with the issues of service delivery,” said Maile.
Maile also said the NCOP had recommended that he invoke a Section 106 in order to institute a forensic investigation to look into some of the allegations of maladministration in the city. He has committed himself to the task.
“We will make sure we get to the bottom of the problem,” said Maile.