Tshwane mayor Stevens Mokgalapa bows out
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He bade goodbye to residents, friends and fellow politicians during his last media briefing as mayor at Tshwane House.
Mokgalapa, who was visibly emotional, conceded that his parting ways with the City evoked mixed feelings - “good and sad”.
“I am humbled for being allowed to have had that opportunity as a son of Tshwane, born and bred and as well as a resident.
“For that opportunity I have no regrets. It is an opportunity that comes once in a lifetime.”
He said he had done his utmost best, considering the time he had had to serve as mayor.
“The more important memory that I will cherish was having that opportunity to plough back into the city of my birth. So I have no regrets at all,” he said.
He used the opportunity to highlight achievements under his stewardship since he took over from his predecessor Solly Msimanga in February last year.
His last day in office is likely to be February 26, a day before an ordinary council sitting.
“The date for the resignation will be a date before council.”
Regarding his future, he said he had plenty of options. “I will still continue to serve the residents as an activist, remain within the city. It is my city of birth. There are options that I am evaluating and at the right time there will be a pronouncement around that,” he said.
Mokgalapa will be staying on as a PR councillor, but didn’t see himself still in the position until the 2021 municipal elections.
He said that on Monday the DA summoned him to a disciplinary hearing to answer to statements he made in a purported sex audio recording widely circulated last year.
In the recording Mokgalapa could be heard bad-mouthing senior municipal officials and his colleagues in the political arena.
The recording allegedly captured moments when he was engaged in sexual intercourse with then roads and transport MMC Sheila Senkubuge, who also resigned in the wake of the scandal.
Mokgalapa said: “I can inform you that I did go for our hearing yesterday (Monday) and the matter was settled.”
He preferred to leave the announcement about the outcome of the hearing to his party. However, he said there was still a last leg of the disciplinary process that needed to be finalised.
He reiterated that he was not pushed to resign as the mayor, but did it “in the interest of service delivery with the principal consideration being the residents of Tshwane”.
He believed the DA had made the right choice in selecting former MMC for economic development and spatial planning Randall Williams as its mayoral candidate. His advice to his successor was to always stay on the side of the residents, especially when they raised pertinent issues of service delivery.
Mokgalapa replaced Williams with Isak Pietersen when he assumed power.
He said: “My decision had no bearing on the capacity of an individual.”
And what would he miss about the city? “The hustle and bustle. Things are happening fast in the city. There is always drama every single day. You never know what you are going to confront from residents and politicians to officials,” Mokgalapa said.