ANC urges DA to court on speaker suspensions while raising AWOL Mokgalapa salary issue

Tshwane Stevens Mokgalapa is seen during a special council meeting where he was elected, 12 February 2019, Sammy Marks, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

The ANC welcomed the DA’s decision to take the matter to court.

The ANC had meeting on Friday morning where the party discussed their response to the DA’s letter urging Gauteng human settlement, urban planning and cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) MEC Lebogang Maile to rescind his decision to place both Johannesburg speaker Vasco Da Gama and Tshwane speaker Katlego Mathebe on suspension.

The ANC maintains Maile acted in the best interests of council. The party responded to the DA’s threat for legal action by urging the DA to take the matter to court.

In a statement, the ANC said: “The DA is free to go to court and the ANC in Tshwane will also be party to court proceedings should the DA lodge an application. We don’t see any justification for urgency, but we will wait for the court to make such a determination.

“The DA has lost credibility and everyone can see how they are losing their white voters to the Freedom Front Plus in by-elections. Their white constituency is dwindling, let alone the black support, which will almost be non-existent in 2021 local government elections.”

The party also had Tshwane mayor Stevens Mokgalapa on their agenda.

“A whopping R120,000 salary and benefits for Stevens Mokgalapa gone AWOL.”

The ANC is of the view that acting mayor Abel Tau was an illegitimate mayor as he was not appointed via the proper procedures.

Mokgalapa was suspended following an alleged audio where he and former MEC Sheila Senkubuge were heard discussing other councillors.

“The mayor is absent without official leave. We have sent a message to residents to tell us if they see him in Sunnyside, guest houses or any related places in Tshwane.

“In his absence, we have seen Abel Tau purporting to be an acting mayor. The question is, which council meeting appointed Abel Tau?”

The ANC said it had never appointed anyone in council to act as mayor and that both Tau and Mathebe were allegedly competing for the soon-to-be-vacant position of mayor.

The party will submit another request for a special council meeting postponed last week to be held on Tuesday, 28 January at 10am to finalise motions of no confidence against DA officers, including Mokgalapa.

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