Joburg councillors Da Gama, Mathebe suspended without pay
Johannesburg – Former Johannesburg speaker Vasco da Gama and current speaker Tshwane Katlego Mathebe have been suspended as councillors after Gauteng MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Lebogang Maile accused them of breaching the code of conduct of council.
The two have been suspended without pay.
Maile made the announcement in Midrand on Thursday,where he said their suspension was in line with the spirit of co-operative governance.
Da Gama is accused of having mischievously collapsing a council meeting ahead of the voting process before the dramatic ousting of the DA-led government.
Da Gama adjourned the meeting amid disagreements among councillors over the interpretation of what constituted a majority, saying he would seek legal advice.
Maile said Da Gama, who has been suspended for three months without pay, had been afforded an opportunity by his office on why he should not be suspended or removed as a councillor after his behaviour.
"The said time frame has long lapsed and only after a reminder did the former speaker respond. However, the response by the former speaker did not deal with factual and substantive issues raised in the letter we sent him," Maile said.
Maile said he had decided to suspend Mathebe for sabotaging a council meeting in Tshwane by refusing to preside over it because one of its agenda items was to remove her as speaker.
Mathebe, who has been suspended for six months, had told Maile when asked to explain why she refused to preside over the meeting on December 5 that she felt conflicted.
"We strongly hold a view that her explanation does not, to say the least, make sense, not unless it was a deliberate act on her part to vitiate the council proceedings in order to prevent the motion against her being carried.
"It is our carefully considered view that in doing so, the speaker placed her personal interest (to remain speaker by any means necessary) above the interests of the municipality and by extension the residents of the City," he said.