Tshwane could have new mayor in couple of days if election process goes as planned
Pretoria - The City of Tshwane could have a new executive mayor by the end of Friday should the election process goes as planned during a council sitting to be convened by Speaker Katlego Mathebe.
Councillors from all political parties in the metro are expected to attend the sitting at Tshwane House Council Chamber following the Supreme Court of Appeal ruling on Tuesday.
The ruling essentially upheld the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria judgement that councillors were bound to attend council meetings unless they have a legal reason to be absent.
Mathebe said she was confident that all councillors would show up for the meeting, which was supported by all political parties' whippery.
This was despite that in the past council sittings collapsed due to walk-outs by councillors from the ANC and EFF.
Mathebe said the IEC will be available to assist with the election of the new mayor by ensuring the process is fair.
"I am responsible to ensure that council sitting is conducted according to the rules of council and the Constitution," she said.
Due to the Covid-19 disaster regulations, the sitting will be hosted in two different venues, including an online platform.
At least 120 councillors and the Speaker will be allowed inside the chamber. Of that number, there will be 46 DA councillors, 42 from the ANC, 25 EFF councillors and others from smaller parties.
Others will be accommodated on the ground floor at Tshwane House and the last group of councillors, especially those with co-morbidities will be connected online.
Participants online will be allowed to cast special votes should there be more than one candidate for the mayoral position.
Mathebe said: "My focus now is to immediately elect the new leadership which will restore stability and improve the running of the city."
Regional ANC leader in Tshwane Dr Kgosi Maepa said his party councillors will abide by the court judgment and attend the meeting.
He said the party was still undecided about whether it should nominate a candidate to stand for the mayoral position .
Tshwane EFF leader Moaferika Mabogwana said his party will today have a meeting with its councillors to discuss the implications of the judgment.
According to him, his party has not yet taken a decision on whether it will participate in the meeting or not.
DA mayoral candidate Randall Williams said he was happy to participate in the meeting, where he will be nominated by his party councillors.
He was,however, not too optimistic about the election outcome, saying he will have to wait and see whether other parties will have their mayoral candidate or not.
"I don't know what is happening with the other two parties. They haven't communicated whether they are putting forward a candidate or not or nominating a joint candidate," he said.
He said in terms of the council rules the parties can still nominate a candidate from the floor.
The metro has been without a mayor after the resignation of Stevens Mokgalapa in February following the widely-reported sex scandal involving him and former roads and transport MMC Sheila Senkubuge.
Asked whether there was an intention to recoup salaries paid to the administrators, Mathebe said: "The administrators were appointed by the Gauteng executive council and it should be the question that you can direct to the executive council and they should be able to assist you with that."
She said most of the decisions taken by the administrators may have to be reviewed, depending on whether they were legal or illegal.
Mathebe said councillors will be paid their salaries from May until now after the court judgment said councilors must not be deprived of their benefits and allowances.