Inaugural council meetings have been delayed in several provinces. Municipalities have until Wednesday to hold their first council meetings following the recent local government elections. At the West Rand district municipality in Gauteng, the council meeting was adjourned because of an “error” made by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
The IEC awarded the Freedom Front Plus a seat that ought to have gone to the ANC. West Rand district municipality municipal manager Moroashike Mokoena told The Citizen yesterday: “I cannot constitute a council that is illegitimate because it has an element of causing problems for my council.”
Mokoena said the IEC did not give the council the correct list of elected councillors. Gauteng provincial electoral officer Masego Shiburi confirmed an “error” but said it has been fixed. There was jubilation from ANC councillors and some party supporters when Mokoena announced that he had decided to adjourn the council.
The EFF berated the IEC, saying it could not be trusted. Drama emerged in the Rustenburg municipality’s first council meeting when the election of the speaker produced a tie.
Bosa Ledwaba of the Forum 4 Service Delivery and Sheila Mabale-Huma of the ANC both received 44 votes in the secret vote, with one spoilt ballot paper. This prompted Pako Molatlhegi of the EFF to request a caucus before a rerun for the election of the speaker was conducted.
Matebesi Mohube from the Democratic Alliance nominated Ledwaba and Amos Mataboge from the ANC nominated fellow party member Mabale-Huma. Mabale-Huma was elected with 46 votes to Ledwaba’s 43.
In Ekurhuleni, the council meeting was postponed to Tuesday amid claims that the ANC and African Independent Congress failed to reach agreement. In Limpopo, the first council sitting in the amalgamated Modimolle and Mookgopong mucipalities was postponed this week. In Johannesburg, councillors will be sworn in on Monday.