DA’s court action could anger Tshwane EFF, ANC – analyst

General chaos during a special council sitting at Tshwane House, 5 December 2019, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

The EFF and ANC could ‘make sure the DA never comes back. That is the problem when you use a one-dimensional approach,’ an analyst said.

The DA’s court interdict to halt the removal of Tshwane mayor Stevens Mokgalapa might be legally sound, but it could anger the ANC and EFF and so ensure the party never returns to power, political analyst Somadoda Fikeni said.

Mokgalapa was not going anywhere just yet as the DA got an interim court order from the Pretoria High Court on Friday, suspending Thursday’s vote to oust him.

Mokgalapa and the city’s council speaker Katlego Mathebe were on their way out after the EFF and ANC both voted for their removal in a motion of no confidence at Thursday’s council sitting.

Mathebe recused herself from Thursday’s sitting in an attempt to avoid conflict of interest in the motion against her. But Gauteng’s department of co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) presided over the meeting and allowed for both the EFF and ANC to nominate EFF councillor Obakeng Ramabodu to act in the speaker’s role.

The DA however took legal action, stating that the ANC and red berets had orchestrated a coup by hijacking the sitting.

But politically, the DA could have shot themselves in the foot, Fikeni said.

“Politically, it might anger these other ones [ANC and EFF] to make sure the DA never comes back. That is the problem when you use a one-dimensional approach. If both the EFF and ANC are angry with the decision, they will have common cause throughout. But if [DA] pursued both negotiating with them [ANC and EFF] and pointing out legal challenges of these decisions, then [they] would score somehow,” he told The Citizen.

While a way forward for the city was still unclear, Cogta MEC Lebogang Maile announced yesterday that they would place the city under administration as service delivery and supply chain challenges compromised the city’s functionality.

“Gauteng Provincial [executive committee] has been left with no choice but to invoke the provisions of Section 139(1) read together with Section 154 of the Constitution, by taking appropriate steps to support and strengthen the capacity of the City of Tshwane to effectively execute the constitutional objectives of local government as embedded in section 152 of the Constitution. This will assist in restoring functionality, governance stability and adequate service delivery in the City.”

DA Gauteng caucus leader and former Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga rejected Cogta’s solution, stating it was both constitutionally and procedurally unsound, as the city was not given any reasons as to why it needed saving.

“MEC Maile made serious allegations without evidence such as the city not being able to deliver on its core mandate as well as with regards to the financial wellbeing of the city. MEC Maile is desperate to try and prevent any form of opposition governance in this province,” Msimanga said.

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