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Opposition parties gun for Tshwane council speaker Katlego Mathebe over ward committees

Speaker of Tshwane council Katlego Mathebe. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Speaker of Tshwane council Katlego Mathebe. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Feb 3, 2021

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Pretoria - The knives are out for Tshwane council speaker Katlego Mathebe, with the ANC and EFF saying they would stop at nothing to remove her from office.

This was after a vote of no confidence motion against her was disallowed during the recent council sitting.

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The EFF had tabled a motion seeking to get rid of Mathebe on the basis that she failed to establish ward committees in the city since the DA-led administration assumed power in 2016.

ANC chief whip Aaron Maluleke has called for exploration of mechanisms through which council can recall a speaker or a mayor after previous attempts to remove the pair came to nought.

Maluleke said a council committee should be charged with the responsibility to produce a report detailing the procedure of removing a speaker or a mayor.

The report, he said, must be tabled in council within three months.

"We don’t vote for people that will remain in power forever even though they are no longer performing or they are now becoming rogue in their conduct," he said.

He said democracy was not only about being voted into office, but also about being put in check if one was still fit for purpose.

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“In Parliament, it will be motion of no confidence and it will be accepted. There will be an impeachment of the president; it will be accepted. And there will be other mechanisms to check if people are still fit for purpose," Maluleke said.

EFF Tshwane leader Moafrika Mabogwana warned Mathebe that she would one day fall from her seat due to political pressure exerted by his party.

"Once the EFF had made a decision we are consistently going to be on your case until you fall. This time you are playing. It doesn't matter when you are going to fall but ultimately you are going to fall," he said.

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In reply, Mathebe said the motion created an improper suggestion that the current administration did nothing to urgently address the absence of ward committees.

She said the motion deliberately disregarded the reasons underpinning the absence of ward committees in the city.

According to her, the reasons were exclusively legal in nature and included the procurement of a legal opinion on the legality of the draft by-law on the ward committees.

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The process to review a ward committee by-law dated back to more than two years ago when the section 79 committee overseeing ward committees discovered a technical problem revolving around the qualification of candidates who may stand for elections.

The committee was concerned that the by-law was unclear as to whether people from outside the ward could stand for elections or not.

The review was meant to avoid a repeat of what transpired in 2014, when the DA took on the then ANC-led administration over the unconstitutionality of the ward committee by-law.

The North Gauteng High Court then rendered the elections, which had already taken place in 2012, null and void.

The DA court challenge questioned the constitutionality of the committee elections, arguing that they excluded the participation of the public.

Pretoria News

Related Topics:

City of Tshwane

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