Pretoria - Speaker of Tshwane council, Mncedi Ndzwanana, is not yet off the hook after multiparty coalition partners expressed their intention to table a motion of no confidence in a bid to remove him from office.
Coalition partners, which include ActionSA, the IFP, DA, Freedom Front Plus and ACDP, have filed petitions signed by a majority of councillors, calling for a motion of no confidence in the speaker to be heard on April 12.
This would be their second attempt to oust Ndzwanana after a first bid was derailed on March 27 when the incumbent speaker adjourned the meeting on the grounds that it was illegally constituted.
Ndzwanana cast aspersions on 10 signatures of the 108 councillors appended on a petition for the meeting, saying they were fraudulent.
According to coalition partners, the submissions were made in terms of section 29(1) of the Municipal Structures Act, stating that: “29(1) The speaker of a municipality’s council decides when and where the council meets subject to section 18(2), but if a majority of the councillors request the speaker in writing to convene a council meetings, the speaker must convene a meeting at a time set out in the request.”
The call for the speaker’s removal was made in the face of the EFF’s stance that should Ndzwanana be unseated, a revolt can be expected against newly elected mayor Cilliers Brink.
Party regional leader Obakeng Ramabodu said: “The speaker has hardly spent 20 days in office. As much as they want us to give Cilliers Brink 100 days in office, we expect them to give our speaker 100 days.”
The coalition, however, said discussions were held regarding the utterances that the coalition should leave the speaker in place, but they were rejected with contempt.
They said the multiparty coalition does not co-govern with the ANC and EFF, and will not place faith in the speaker’s ability to lead the legislature without having his strings pulled by the ANC and EFF. The coalition added that it was clear that the ANC and EFF were in partnership made between Panyaza Lesufi and the EFF, and the multiparty coalition will not play any role in tacitly supporting such an arrangement.
They also wanted another council meeting convened a day after deliberating on the motion against the speaker for tabling the adjustment budget for 2022/23 and the draft budget for 2023/24. Recently, the Gauteng provincial treasury granted the city an extension for passing its adjustment budget to April 14 after it missed its
February 28 deadline for doing so. Failure to pass the adjustment budget on time has been attributed to political battles for power by the ANC-EFF grouping and multiparty coalition partners.
“The submission of these petitions will be coupled with urgent court papers that will be filed simultaneously to ensure the meetings take place, to interdict the speaker from interfering in these meetings and to ensure all councillors are interdicted from disruption.
“This will ensure that any effort to prevent council from removing the speaker or frustrating the budget approval will take place in contempt of court,” coalition partners said.
Brink this week said he had started to look at the adjustment after his announcement of members of the mayoral committee last week.