The DA is continuing its plans for the City of Tshwane should it take back control of the municipality on Saturday, but is also ready for anything that Lebogang Maile, Gauteng’s MEC for human settlements and cooperative governance, may throw its way.
The City is expected to elect a new mayor and city manager this weekend as per last month’s high court judgment, which overturned a decision by the Gauteng government to dissolve the municipality.
In March, the province invoked Section (1)(c) of the Constitution, which meant the municipality was placed under administration, dissolved, and an election for new leadership had to be held within 90 days.
The high court found the move to be unlawful.
It also gave the administrators five days, after the lockdown regulations were eased from level 5 to level 4, to vacate the City’s offices.
Friday is set to be the last day the administrators, appointed by Maile, run South Africa’s capital city.
“We anticipate that he [Maile] may well want to continue the mad actions he has been taking up until now. I can’t understand why [he] won’t stop digging. He is in a hole and he keeps on digging. If he does from a legal point of view, we’ve put our legal ducks in a row and we are ready,” said DA Gauteng chairperson Mike Moriarty.
Moriarty was sharing his thoughts on the way forward in the embattled metro.
He also introduced the plan of the DA’s mayoral candidate, Randall Williams, should he successfully be elected as Tshwane’s third mayor at the weekend.
The briefing took place via a virtual meeting on Thursday.
“Mr Maile is nothing but an embarrassment, not only to the premier but his own party, the ANC,” said Moriarty.
Williams said the DA would also approach the courts, if a leave to appeal the application was granted.
He said the DA would lodge an 18(3) application, asking for the judgment to be implemented while the appeal is on the table.
“We are not worried about by-elections because we believe the appeal won’t succeed – in fact, it will not be allowed,” said Williams.
He said there were 15 months before the 2021 local government elections, giving the DA a tight deadline.
No simple majority
The DA has more votes in the council, made up of 212 councillors, but not a simple majority, which would allow it to govern without the help of coalition partners.
Williams said there was a lot of goodwill in this regard at regional level, and that decisions around which parties were willing to work with the DA were being handled at national level.
The DA had relied on smaller parties, and an informal relationship with the EFF, to take control of the City following the 2016 local government elections.
“We are looking at cooperating with all parties and speaking to all parties at a national level because we believe, if we are going to make a success of the City of Tshwane, we need to work together,” said Williams.
Maile is expected to share his view on the way forward in the City of Tshwane on Thursday afternoon.