Daggers out for DA councillors who reportedly voted for Joburg mayor Geoff Makhubo
Johannesburg - While newly-elected Joburg mayor Geoff Makhubo is on Thursday expected to officially outline some of his plans and aspirations for the City, daggers are out for DA councillors who reportedly voted for him.
In a dramatic turn of events, the official opposition was left stunned as the ANC lapped up votes that gave Makhubo firm authority to run the City.
The DA’s leadership, in turn, accused its councillors and coalition partners, the IFP, FF+, ACDP, UDM, Cope and ACDP, of betraying the party.
“If you think about it, just about every single coalition partner must have voted for the ANC. One of the disappointments is that you talk to the coalition partners and they say, ‘Don’t worry we are voting for you,’ and then you get a result like this. You feel betrayed,” DA provincial chairperson Mike Moriarty said after the process left the ANC sitting firmly with 137 votes, the DA with 103 for its candidate Funzela Ngobeni and the EFF with 30 votes for its Musa Novela.
It now appears the DA’s woes are far from over. As Makhubo addresses the media today, it is hoped he will shed some light on the ANC’s decision regarding key positions in the council.
This includes the position of current council Speaker Vasco da Gama whose fate hangs in limbo after the provincial government took a tough stance on him when he failed to convene an initial sitting for the election of a new mayor.
Gauteng MEC for Human Settlements, Urban Planning and Cogta, Lebogang Maile, had written a letter to Da Gama chastising him over the positions of members of the mayoral committee, saying that because of the anomaly, the MMCs were also in limbo over the positions.
Moriarty said the DA, which could also lose Tshwane if its coalition partners continue to abandon the party, would hold consultations with the parties.
Currently, the ANC has 122 councillors, the DA 102 and the EFF 30 councillors.
It also remained to be seen if any councillors would cross the floor.
Moriarty said the concerned councillors who deceived the party should also leave if they were not happy.
“It was an individual choice that was made here. It had nothing to do with ideology. It had nothing to do with the direction of the party... I don’t know what kind of deal the ANC did with those individuals,” he said. He maintained that the party would not embark on a “witch-hunt” for its councillors who voted with the ANC yesterday, even though it was disappointed with them.
The removal of the DA-led coalition government was triggered by the resignation of former mayor Herman Mashaba, who also dumped the DA. Mashaba and former DA leader Mmusi Maimane left the party as a raging debate over the party’s ideological direction saw Helen Zille being elected as federal council chairperson.
Despite a dark cloud hanging over Makhubu from a scandal involving allegations of impropriety which related to him scoring millions from the City’s Regiments Fund Managers (RFM) lucrative contract, the ANC expressed confidence in him.
Meanwhile, Makhubo called for unity among political parties and thanked the ANC for defending him against the RFM scandal.