MEC urges Joburg council speaker to take action over MMCs privileges
Johannesburg - Cogta MEC Lebogang Maile has called on Johannesburg council speaker Vasco da Gama to facilitate the immediate suspension of privileges enjoyed by members of mayoral committee (MMCs), as the city remains without a mayor.
Herman Mashaba left DA-led city’s top post on Wednesday last week and a council meeting scheduled to elect his successor was controversially cancelled by Da Gama on Thursday, leaving Da Gama to be the de facto political head in the city.
On Tuesday, Maile said the MMCs could not continue getting their privileges as they ceased to hold office after Mashaba – who appointed them – left.
“To this effect, should any of the former members of the Mayoral Committee still enjoy the said privileges and benefits, such as tools of trade, administrative support etc, this should immediately cease, as same will be unlawful,” Maile said.
Da Gama said he wanted to first get legal advice on the meaning of “majority” in the rules that govern the election of a new mayor.
However, the ANC and Maile accused Da Gama’s decision to postpone the meeting to Wednesday as a deliberate abuse of power and threatened to remove him a councillor in a letter he wrote him last week asking him to give reasons why he should not be suspended.
Maile he was concerned about the state of affairs in the city after Da Gama’s decision.
“As the MEC responsible for local government in Gauteng, the current state of affairs is of grave concern to me, and no doubt to the residents of the City,” he said.
Maile urged Da Gama to first hold a meeting with whips of all political parties ahead of Wednesday's council meeting where a mayor is set to be elected, to ensure that the meeting is not cancelled again.
With 270 seats in council, the ANC (123 seats), DA (103 seats) and EFF (30 seats) are all fielding their individual candidates for the post.