It was the continuous unresolved scandals in the capital city which might have prompted Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga to step down as they would have compromised his campaign for premiership in Gauteng, a political analyst says.
The Democratic Alliance’s (DA) Msimanga, who recently travelled the province to campaign as Gauteng premier, announced yesterday that he would resign as mayor from the city. He said he wanted to focus solely on the campaign of taking over the province.
“This decision was not made lightly or hastily, and I have done so because I believe it best serves the interest of the people of Tshwane and Gauteng as a whole,” Msimanga said at the DA’s headquarters in Johannesburg yesterday.
But after being embroiled in a number of issues in the city, including appointing senior staff in his office without meeting the requirements, and a multimillion-rand tender scandal with GladAfrica, he might have stepped down to save his premiership campaign, political analyst Somadoda Fikeni told Saturday Citizen.
The fact that such scandals and issues had not been resolved could have compromised his premiership, Fikeni explained.
“Also, the DA had placed so much hope in capturing yet another metropolitan province such as Gauteng and they might be assuming that since they managed, through coalition, to have Johannesburg and Tshwane, that they could repeat the same, should the ANC not get the outright majority,” said Fikeni.
“They [DA] might also be trying to make an impression to the voters that they indeed want this position so seriously that they are prepared to forgo a position to dedicate their focus on this one.
“His aim is, in the long run, to be provincial leader politically for the DA. That is what I believe he could be looking for.
“I do think [his resignation] is a combination of things since he’s been embroiled in so many other issues within the municipality which weren’t completely resolved.”
Msimanga’s resignation would be finalised in the first two weeks of February, with council having to vote for a new mayor.
The Tshwane mayor took over the capital after the 2016 local government elections after entering into a coalition with the Economic Freedom Fighters.