Tshwane mayor Stevens Mokgalapa. PHOTO: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

Pretoria - Tshwane council Speaker Katlego Mathebe dismissed the motion of no confidence submitted by the EFF against mayor Stevens Mokgalapa based on technicalities.

This was during an ordinary council sitting hosted at Tshwane House Council Chamber.

Mathebe said she disallowed the motion because it advanced arguments and expressed opinions.

She said her conclusion was backed up by a piece of legislation, which empowered her to disallow "a motion or a proposal if in her opinion the advances arguments, or express opinion".

"I have been referring to the legislation I have been referring to the rules and orders and indeed I have applied my mind independently," she said.

Mathebe said reasons provided by the EFF to support its motion, such as the unsatisfactory quality of drinking water in Hammanskraal, suggested a misunderstanding of the mayor's prerogatives. 

"The motion is lacking in an understanding of the role of the executive mayor in its entirety irrespective of the two service delivery functions, that of water and electricity," she said.

She added that the service delivery problems cited in the motion were receiving attention from the acting city manager and group head of utility services.

"The mover of the motion, however, seems to be projecting an understanding that the executive mayor is single-handedly responsible for these operations," Mathebe said.

Reacting to the ruling, the EFF regional leader Moafrika Mabogwana said: "Our motion is very clear and we are quoting the rules. 

"I don't know why you want to assume that when we write this motion we were apportioning all the blame single-handedly to the mayor. 

"We are quoting sections here. The first section we are quoting is Section 52, subsection C of the Municipal Systems Act, which provides that a mayor of municipality must take reasonable steps to ensure that the municipality performs its constitutional statutory functions within the limits of the municipality's approved budget."  

He said the party also quoted the Constitution which said that every citizen of South Africa has a right to clean water.

Prior to the tabling of the motion, the ANC regional leader Dr Kgosi Maepa pleaded with Mathebe to do the right thing and allow the motions to be carried through.

The ANC had also submitted a motion of no confidence against Mokgalapa, but it was heard after the council sitting collapsed.

He said: "Please use your discretion to make sure that democracy at the end of the day will be the winner and not party lines and partisan politics.

"I also want you to know that the public and everybody in South Africa is now watching and they will judge you harshly should you be found by any court of law not to have done things in a correct way."

Following Mathebe's ruling, all ANC and EFF councillors walked out of the chamber after the EFF motion was disallowed.

The council sitting was discontinued as the 90 councillors who remained behind didn't form a quorum.

Both the ANC and EFF have threatened to go to court to challenge Mathebe's decision.

Pretoria News