Pretoria - DA councillors in the Tshwane Metro Council on Thursday turned their backs on speaker Morakane Mosupye after she disallowed the party’s motion calling for her removal.
The motion was submitted by DA chief whip Marietha Aucamp, who stated that Mosupye had failed to build, promote and protect democracy and facilitate debate.
Aucamp also argued that Mosupye had failed to ensure consensus “on more instances that can be mentioned, for instance the prohibiting of members of a committee to again raise issues mentioned and discussed in Section 79 meetings”.
“The speaker as custodian of council should act to oversee capacity. A speaker should facilitate and chair council meetings and provide policy and legislative guidelines for council decisions, as well as political leadership in ward participatory governance,” she said.
Aucamp said Mosupye had “demonstrated an inability or unwillingness to follow standard meeting procedure”.
According to Aucamp, council agendas were constantly delivered late, and “urgent items are laid on the table at every council meeting, not allowing councillors adequate time to thoroughly read, prepare and interrogate the items to fulfil their legislative responsibility of oversight of the executive”.
“It would appear that there is either a lack of consideration by the speaker for councillors’ time, or that the speaker does not wish for councillors to participate in events of council,” said Aucamp.
In disallowing the motion, Mosupye said it did not conform with council’s rules and regulations. She ordered the DA councillors to face her but they refused to do so, resulting in her telling them to leave the council chambers.
She referred the councillors’ behaviour to the council’s rules and ethics committee.
“You will be dealt with individually,” she said.
Aucamp said Mosupye should have recused herself when the matter was heard, adding that they would lodge a complaint with the Gauteng MEC for local government and housing.
On Thursday’s call by the DA for the removal of the speaker is not the first. The party has over the past few months had run-ins with Mosupye over the handling of the council’s affairs.
Early last year, then DA leader in council, Brandon Topham, was involved in a legal battle with Mosupye after Mosupye had ordered Topham out of the council chambers.