City of Johannesburg speaker Vasco Da Gama has satisfied himself with legal opinions after he postponed a special council meeting on Thursday in order to seek clarity.
Speaking on Monday, Da Gama said the election of a new mayor would now take place on Wednesday, following rules set out in the Municipal Structures Act.
Da Gama postponed the sitting last week, citing the need to seek a legal opinion on the interpretation of the Municipal Structures Act in relation to the council rules on what constituted a majority in the council.
Da Gama said council rules stipulated a 50% plus one majority rule during council elections, while claiming the Municipal Structures Act was ambiguous on the matter.
The council has a total of 270 seats. Only one councillor, who died, was absent during the council sitting.
“We got some clarity. The reason for the postponement was finding clarity on what majority constitutes. Majority constitutes 50 plus one, but we have got to explain the different arrangements and how it works. It can be complicated,” he told News24.
Da Gama added that the explanation of the rules for Wednesday’s sitting would be sent to all 269 councillors before Tuesday.
He explained how Wednesday’s sitting would unfold, including the announcement of the three mayoral candidates – the ANC’s Geoff Makhubo, the DA’s Funzela Ngobeni, and the EFF’s Musa Novela.
Council will then elect a new mayor, who would then address the sitting and indicate his readiness to appoint mayoral committee members.
Meanwhile, Da Gama also has to contend with frustrated Gauteng cooperative governance MEC Lebogang Maile, who wrote a sharply worded letter, criticising the reasons for the postponement.
In the letter, Maile said he would be seeking legal advice on the matter, accusing Da Gama of contravening the peremptory provisions of the Constitution and other applicable local government legislation.
Da Gama said he had received a letter from Maile’s office, adding that he would respond to it in due time.
Da Gama accused Maile of making the allegations in his letter to “confuse voters”.