Maepa raised his hand as a credible candidate to replace incumbent mayor Solly Msimanga, who faces a motion of no confidence in council tomorrow.
Maepa told journalists during a media briefing at Tshwane House that the motion of no confidence against Msimanga was motivated by issues related to poor service delivery, rampant corruption and maladministration that had dogged the in the City.
Maepa said his availability to become the new mayor would depend on whether proceedings in council allowed the ANC to pitch its candidate for the position.
“The ANC has taken a decision to field a candidate in the form of its chairperson and the new leader of the opposition in council Dr Kgosi Maepa should a need arise during council proceedings,” he said.
He said that his party would not have a problem to support other political parties who also submitted the same motion.
This evening, ANC members are expected to host a night vigil at Burgers Park, starting from 9pm.
“We will also hold a march to council from 9am, departing from Burgers Park,” Maepa added.
The plan to oust Msimanga comes after the ANC, EFF and the UDM led a similar removal of the DA-led coalition under former mayor Athol Trollip in the Eastern Cape’s Nelson Mandela Bay metro.
Maepa said the motion, which the ANC has asked to be conducted through a secret ballot, would succeed as black DA members had also been lobbied. Maepa’s political ambitions secured a major boost yesterday when EFF leader Julius Malema indicated that the red berets would back a credible ANC candidate to take over in the capital city just as it had helped the DA in 2016.
“If the ANC puts a legitimate candidate, we will vote for them without fear. We will not be scared,” said Malema.
“We will do it the same way we did when we voted for a party that has harboured apartheid collaborators. We did that before, we did not lose any single vote because our voters trust our judgement.”
Malema said the GladAfrica contract - whose fallout has led to the suspension of city manager Dr Moeketsi Mosola - had exposed Msimanga’s incompetence as an executive mayor after he failed to read the documentation when it was presented to him by Mosola last year.
“Why didn’t Solly satisfy himself by going through the document and look at the law and see if those things are allowed? It means you have an executive mayor who relies on verbal reports. We have a mayor who only reads tweets,” hesaid. Malema said the party would have to look at Maepa’s credentials before it decides to back him or not. “Kgosi is a doctor. Maybe he has reading capacity because he is a PhD graduate, but can Kgosi be a mayor? Where has Kgosi led before? So we will hear.”
With a total of 214 seats in council, the ANC has 89 councillors and will need 19 more seats to secure the 50% plus (108) majority needed to successfully remove Msimanga and install its candidate.
ANC caucus spokesperson Lesego Makhubela said the party was confident the EFF would back Maepa, as he had “impeccable credentials”.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane said the party was heading to the courts to challenge the legality of the ousting of Trollip, adding that the DA councillor who collaborated with the party’s opponents had been expelled from the party.
Meanwhile, newly elected Nelson Mandela Bay mayor, the UDM’s Mongameli Bobani, has installed his new mayoral committee and taken over the reins in the metro.