ANC chairperson stumped over no-confidence vote
This is because Siyonzana’s ANC Mangaung regional body - the biggest region in the Free State - has been vehemently calling for Mlamleli’s removal since July last year, amid fierce resistance from their provincial bosses.
The ANC region has cited Mlamleli for poor service delivery since her candidature in 2016.
The latest downgrading of the municipality by Moody’s rating agency to junk status has further exacerbated tensions in the region.
Detailing its reason for the downgrade, Moody’s said its decision stemmed from poor governance and management practices that resulted in missed debt-service payments on two loans worth a combined R51.9 million to Development Bank of SA (DBSA) and Standard Bank in December 2019.
The municipality was also recently placed under financial administration by its provincial treasury because of several adverse findings by the auditor-general.
In light of these developments, the DA’s Mokgadi Kganakga asked Siyonzana to allow their motion of no confidence against Mlamleli to be conducted through a secret ballot to allow all councillors to vote freely, without fear of threats and intimidation.
“This motion was brought forward by the DA caucus on February 18, 2020. This follows a previous motion that was tabled by the DA on May 28, 2019, which was later rejected by the speaker as being “vague”.
She said: “Our response is that what was previously considered to be ‘vague’ on paper is very visible in the metro’s Moody’s downgrade and the administration process in which the metro finds itself in.”
Kganakga appealed to Siyonzana to allow a secret ballot to be held.
“What is in the best interest of the people is to protect the councillors’ voting rights. One’s vote should remain a secret and that should count in councils all over South Africa and especially in council. A raise of hands can, and will, result in intimidation, putting councillors’ lives in jeopardy if found to be voting with their conscience instead of on party lines or affiliation,” Kganakga said.
Siyonzana said: “I will decide during a council meeting when the motion is tabled.”
He later put on his ANC regional chairperson hat by saying the ANC PEC in the Free State had warned against the removal of Mlamleli. He acknowledged that his region wanted Mlamleli out, but said the provincial body’s powers outweighed his regional structure’s wishes.