Questions have been asked as to whether a repeat of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro episode, where a coalition led by the Democratic Alliance (DA) and mayor Athol Trollip were ousted, will occur in Johannesburg where a plan is allegedly brewing to get rid of mayor Herman Mashaba.
The ANC Greater Johannesburg branch confirmed that it had instructed its councillors in the city council to table a no-confidence motion in Mashaba and his executives.
It remains to be seen if the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) would support the motion but its recent decision not to support either the DA or the ANC in councils put Mashaba’s job on the line.
But Mashaba says this is a nefarious plot to derail service delivery progress made by his administration to improve the lives of Johannesburg’s people.
Mashaba confirmed he learned of the ANC’s plan to remove him from Sanco members who marched to his office last week.
“The ANC is determined to prevent a situation where it must contest a 2021 election in Johannesburg comparing its dismal record of failure against the successes of the multi-party government, and for its campaign to be deprived of the proceeds of corruption,” Mashaba said.
The DA took over the administration after the 2016 municipal election, replacing the ANC. Although the ANC had 121 seats, the DA, with 104 seats, managed to form a minority government through a coalition with smaller parties.
The DA’s loose alliance with the EFF remained unstable because of the EFF’s frequent wobbling stance on policy and certain positions, rendering the coalition weak.
Previous attempts by the ANC to oust Mashaba failed as the EFF then continued to side with the DA against the ANC. But the EFF’s recent decision not to support either the DA or the ANC in the metro councils put Mashaba’s position in danger as the ANC could return to power after three years in the opposition seats.
“While the motion will, no doubt, present various pretences to justify it, the simple truth is that the ANC has been trying to regain power in Johannesburg from day one,” Mashaba said.
He cited the ANC-supported protests by former Jozi@Work workers who kept on staging protests against the DA-led administration, the laying of what he termed “frivolous” criminal charges against him by the ANC, and previous attempts to oust him with motions of no confidence as efforts to destabilise the administration.
He said the ANC wanted to remove him because “the taps of corruption and tenderpreneurship have been shut by the multi-party government’s crackdown on corruption”.
“Indeed, the ongoing investigation into corruption in the Alexander Renewal Project is progressively showing how resources meant for development within the city were looted to benefit the ANC and their connected few,” Mashaba said.
The DA-led administration is investigating more than 5,000 cases of corruption through its anti-corruption unit, totalling more than R33 billion.
Mashaba said a senior ANC councillor was allegedly involved in a R30 million tender scandal through his company.
“Now that the taps of corruption have run dry and their looting of public finances is being exposed, the ANC is becoming increasingly desperate,” Mashaba said.