The ANC is confident of ousting City of Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba, saying it has already secured guaranteed support from smaller parties to give it enough votes to kick the outspoken mayor out this afternoon.
The ANC’s Johannesburg regional secretary, Dada Morero, said his party had the backing of more than 145 councillors, who would support a motion of no confidence in Mashaba.
The ANC proposed the motion, which is likely to oust the multiparty administration led by the Democratic Alliance (DA).
Morero claimed the ANC had the backing of the Patriotic Alliance, the African Independent Congress and Al Jama-ah.
It was not clear how the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) – which is the main DA partner in the governing coalition – would vote in the motion.
Indications are that Julius Malema’s EFF will not vote, thereby opening a gap for the ANC to vote Mashaba out.
The DA has been at the helm, alongside the EFF and other parties, since the 2016 local government elections.
The EFF’s national executive recently imposed a national decision that the party would not vote in support of the DA or the ANC in any of the metros. That decision would put EFF councillors at a disadvantage in this instance.
The EFF has been cooperating well with Mashaba in Johannesburg with respect to budgeting, constituency matters and service delivery.
Morero said the ANC was pleased with the support of other parties and individual councillors “who collectively give us more than the 136 votes required to pass the motion”.
“All these councillors have decided to act in the best interest of the residents of Johannesburg,” Morero said. “We are aware that Mashaba is doing all he can to prevent the motion from succeeding.”
He claimed Mashaba had threatened opposition coalition partners and DA councillors who might want to support the motion.
“We want to assure Mashaba that the motion will succeed and we will do everything in our power to protect the rights of councillors to make informed choices on the motion. We appeal to the speaker of council to ensure that councillors freely participate in the democratic process, without intimidation and threats.”
If Mashaba is removed, it is unlikely the speaker, Vasco da Gama, will survive.
Mashaba could not be reached for comment, but in a previous interview with The Citizen, he said he was not afraid of the ANC and its motion.
He said he was not elected by the ANC but by the people and was willing to step aside if necessary.