The ANC has submitted to council an urgent motion of no confidence in Msimanga.
It said it was seeking support from other parties to oust the head of the DA-led multiparty government two years into his term. The development followed controversial appointments and a multibillion rand GladAfrica tender scandal rocking the capital city.
“The motion is to be tabled at the upcoming council meeting scheduled to sit on August 30. The urgency arose as a result of a special council meeting on Wednesday.
“It is clear from the report presented by the executive mayor at the special council meeting that he had in fact known about the alleged irregularities associated with the multibillion rand enterprise project management unit in the office of the city manager,” ANC Tshwane regional chairperson Dr Kgosi Maepa told journalists.
“The pertinent issue is that from November 2017 to July 2018 the executive mayor knew about the corruption scandal. Even after supply chain reports were presented to him during that period, he did not inform council about the matter.
“The executive mayor, Mr Solly ‘I don’t know, I am not sure’ Msimanga has neglected an important aspect of due skill and care in providing oversight to the executive as expected by council.”
Maepa said the ANC was appealing to other political parties in council to join hands with the former governing party and oust Msimanga. “We call on other political parties in council to work with the ANC to support the motion and remove the executive mayor from office. We also propose that voting be done via a secret ballot. It is our ethical and moral duty to protect resources of the local state and become honest stewards of public funds,” said Maepa.
“Our people are living in a veritable hell in townships while the DA-led administration misuses money meant for the provision of minimum basic services of electricity, water and waste collection.
"Corruption has a negative impact on the City’s administration and efficient delivery of basic services it is a cancer that not only affects the city but more so the residents and ratepayers.”
As the tender scandal deepened, this week Msimanga asked the council to suspend embattled municipal manager Dr Moeketsi Mosola and other senior officials.
“After due consideration I am referring the allegations of tender irregularities to council, specifically to investigate allegations of serious misconduct levelled against senior officials in accordance with the disciplinary regulations for senior managers in the Municipal Systems Act,” Msimanga said.
After being appraised by the accused officials, he resolved that an independent investigation should be authorised by the council as the best way to establish the facts into allegations of irregularity by the officials, he said.
Mosola came under fire following media reports alleging that Ariya Project Managers’ GladAfrica Group was bleeding the capital dry after being awarded infrastructure projects worth around R12billion without following procedures.
GladAfrica has reportedly made another R250m in consultancy fees from the metro’s roads and transport division in the past six months.
If the motion succeeds, council speaker Katlego Mathebe will take over until a new mayor has been elected within a specific time, or a fresh election will have to be held.
Meanwhile, EFF leader Julius Malema has said there was no credible candidate from the ANC who could run the City if the ruling party’s motion of no confidence against Msimanga succeeded.
He said his party would abstain and not vote should the ANC and the DA fail to field a better candidate.
“I doubt the ANC has a credible candidate I doubt that they will have to work very hard.
"In fact, in our engagements with some of the leaders of the ANC (following the 2016 local elections), when they were pleading to lead Joburg, they said to us and pleaded not to make that mistake of giving them (the ANC) Tshwane actually they were saying they are prepared to take Joburg and give the EFF Tshwane because they looked among their people and cannot find anyone,’’ he told reporters in Joburg.
Malema accused Msimanga of “inconsistency” regarding Mosola and the tender allegations.
“Msimanga sat next to the city manager and announced that there was nothing wrong (regarding the tender). Now it seems there is something wrong they must both take responsibility.
"Msimang should not use the city manager as a scapegoat.
“The city manager brought this matter to his attention a long time ago now Msimanga acts as if he has only seen this in the newspapers he appointed Marietta (Aucamp) without qualifications. When you touch them, the white DA caucus gets angry and puts pressure on Msimanga,” Malema said.
Msimanga was unable to deal with the DA white caucus in the City, unlike City of Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba, he added.
“Mashaba confronts them directly, he is not scared of them. Msimanga wants their support as he wants to become premier (of Gauteng) so he is tiptoeing around them.
"As a result, he allowed them to destroy him. Marietta was imposed on him by the white caucus, why? Because he had to have a white supervisor.”
Malema further announced that the EFF had also tabled a motion of no confidence against Msimanga and would wait for the DA and the ANC to forward names of “credible candidates”.
“If the two parties do not bring anyone credible, we will abstain from voting, that is another democratic right we have.
"We will not vote for anyone the one with high votes will win without our vote.
"We do not want to be seen to be perpetuating white supremacy and arrogance in the capital.
"We have put our own motion of no confidence in Msimang ourselves and we hope that other political parties will support us.”
Mayoral spokesperson Samkelo Mgobozi said the EFF and ANC made a lot of allegations.
He said the mayor would release a statement to address everything that had transpired. - Additional reporting: African News Agency (ANA)