Pretoria - Tshwane is on a knife-edge heading into Thursday’s ordinary council sitting, where both the ANC and EFF will table motions of no confidence against executive mayor Solly Msimanga.
While both parties have publicly declared their political stance to remove Msimanga from office, they differ when it comes to what happens if or when Msimanga is out.
The EFF vowed to give its vote to a credible candidate - be it from the DA or ANC - while the ANC said it was not willing to assume power “through a back-door strategy by forming unprincipled coalition with other political parties”.
The EFF last night continued to shy away from the GladAfrica irregular tender scandal that triggered the call for Msimanga’s head.
Last week, Msimanga tabled a report for council to issue a notice of intention to suspend City Manager Dr Moeketsi Mosola.
He is accused of flouting regulations in awarding the tender to assist the metro in rolling out infrastructure to GladAfrica.
EFF leader in Tshwane Moaferika Mabogoane said the party would go ahead with the motion of no confidence against Msimanga, but denied that the GladAfrica deal was among the reasons.
Mabogoane said the EFF was unhappy because the DA-led administration prioritised proper and efficient services for white people in affluent places. He said Msimanga was micromanaged by white people and added this was evidenced by “a number of irregular appointments of white people in his office”.
Moabogoane said the issue of GladAfrica did not feature for them because “there is no evidence why we should put that issue as part of the motion”.
“We have had a meeting with the mayor and he said he was satisfied with responses from the city manager about GladAfrica. Why do you suspend him while you said you are satisfied with his responses?” he said.
Mabogoane also denied speculation that the EFF was protecting Mosola and GladAfrica. “The EFF doesn’t participate in the supply chain management processes,” he said.
Meanwhile, ANC provincial deputy chairperson Panyaza Lesufi has called for a fresh election for people to vote for a political party of their choice to govern the City after Msimanga’s removal.
“From where we stand Tshwane is not functional and needs assistance. The only way to help the City is for the ANC to table a motion of no confidence on Thursday and call for fresh elections so that the people of Tshwane can elect a government of their choice that will restore the damage caused by the DA-led coalition in the city,” Lesufi said.
He slammed the DA coalition with other political parties in Tshwane to run the municipality, saying the 2016 municipal elections had ushered in “an era of unprincipled coalition governments in Tshwane, Joburg and Nelson Mandela Bay”.
The ANC would host a night vigil on the eve of the council sitting to decide Msimanga’s fate, to be followed by a march on Thursday, he said. “There has been an outcry from the people of Tshwane on the deteriorating levels of service delivery. We therefore urge members of the ANC in Tshwane and society at large to come out in their numbers to support the march.”
He said the party was working on introducing new regional leader Dr Kgoi Maepa as a council member and subsequently its caucus leader. The chair is currently occupied by former regional deputy chairperson Mapiti Matsena.
Lesufi said the move would be a way to “reconfigure and strengthen our caucus within the City of Tshwane”.
“We are confident that should we go for elections the ANC will emerge victorious,” Lesufi said.
Maepa said the big problems in Tshwane were irregular appointments and poor service delivery.
“The issues in Tshwane are glaring and clear for everybody to see. What we have seen is that the mayor wants to push the blame on the city manager,” he said.
Regarding service delivery, Maepa said: “If you go to the townships of Tshwane there is sewage spillage and the electricity is always off in Soshanguve and Atteridgeville.”
DA MP and national spokesperson Solly Malatsi described Lesufi’s utterances as a political gimmick, which he said was ironic considering that the people of Tshwane elected a government of their choice and voted the ANC out of power. “Unlike the ANC, we have put the people of Joburg and Tshwane above petty politics and exposed and rooted out corruption, created jobs, tackled crime, delivered service and given our people the dignity of a roof over their heads.”