Mogale City Local Municipality in the West Rand could soon fall into the hands of the African National Congress (ANC) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) as the two parties join hands again to unseat another Democratic Alliance (DA) mayor in Gauteng. After the recent drama at the City of Tshwane, Ekurhuleni and Johannesburg councils, the axe is set to fall on DA Mayor Tyrone Gray after a relatively quiet coalition in Mogale City, headquartered in Krugersdorp. Gray took over the mayoral chain after the 2021 local polls when the EFF voted with the DA against the ANC. Last month,…
Mogale City Local Municipality in the West Rand could soon fall into the hands of the African National Congress (ANC) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) as the two parties join hands again to unseat another Democratic Alliance (DA) mayor in Gauteng.
After the recent drama at the City of Tshwane, Ekurhuleni and Johannesburg councils, the axe is set to fall on DA Mayor Tyrone Gray after a relatively quiet coalition in Mogale City, headquartered in Krugersdorp.
Gray took over the mayoral chain after the 2021 local polls when the EFF voted with the DA against the ANC.
Last month, the ANC tabled a no-confidence motion against him, citing the qualified audit opinion outcome from the Auditor-General.
According to ANC chief whip Merriam Mogoje, Gray cannot be allowed to continue presiding over the municipality “without being held accountable”.
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ANC, EFF skip council meetings
A move by the ANC and the EFF in council to have Gray voted out on 28 February was thwarted by council speaker Jacqueline Pannal.
Among those seated in the gallery was Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi, whose presence at hung councils in the province always signals a change of power favouring the governing party.
Pannal ruled that the special council seating was meant to consider an adjustment budget, adding that the motion against the mayor was not on the agenda for the day.
The ANC and the red berets skipped follow-up special council meetings on the 8th and the 17th of this month, leaving the adjustment budget hanging because there was no quorum to pass it through.
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The ANC has 31 seats, followed by the DA with 25, and the EFF’s 11 seats. The Freedom Front Plus has six seats while other smaller parties such as the IFP, ACDP, ATM and PAC have one each.
One of the minority parties could occupy mayorship should the motion go through.
Mogoje was adamant that the DA’s time was up, saying the Auditor-General discovered that cash-flow statements may have been manipulated by the City.
“The DA government is refusing to account for the municipality’s regressed audit findings. According to the AG’s findings for the fiscal year 2022/2023, the municipality could not account for over R4 billion in assets, internal controls are not in place.
“The DA is nefariously attempting to cling to power and push for the budget adoption that would allow them to cling to power without being held accountable,” she said.
‘DA inherited bad finances’
DA MMC for economic development Zillah Wehinger-Maguire said Gray was being blamed for financial problems inherited from the previous ANC government.
“The special council meeting needed to pass adjustment budgets and other important items which have a direct impact on service delivery to residents of Mogale City.
“The mayor is accused of flouting the budget by the Auditor-General, but this is not the case. The budget in question was inherited, and the DA had to work with it after we took office after the 2021 elections.”
Member of the mayoral committee and FF Plus councillor Tjaart Steenkamp said the ANC and EFF were driven by greed and hunger for power.
“As usual, the two parties disregarded the regulation of orders on procedures to be followed and insisted that a motion against the mayor be placed on the agenda.
“With the disruption, the meeting was forcibly dismissed and the purification budget could not be approved as legally prescribed. This has caused the municipality not to be able to provide certain services from March 1.
“This action goes against the code of conduct of council members, the FF Plus demands action against the relevant council members. Greed and obsession with power are the motivation for their actions that are not in the interest of the residents of Krugersdorp.”
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EFF Gauteng chairperson Nkululeko Dunga said his party is on a quest to remove the DA in Mogale City.
The red berets and the governing party have vowed to remove the DA and vote in smaller parties to take over mayorship at hung Gauteng councils.
Dunga accused the DA of “racism and incompetence”.
“We have made our intentions very clear that the EFF will remove the arrogant DA in all municipalities, working with other parties, because they have consistently shown that they are racist and incompetent to run government after we gave them a chance.”
Another ANC councillor Lucky Sele said his party has requested Cogta MEC Mzi Khumalo to intervene.
“As things stand, there’s no notice for the next meeting. The speaker refuses to call an ordinary meeting for motions to remove her and the mayor.
“We have requested the MEC to intervene in Mogale City, that process is taking its course,” said Sele.
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