Johannesburg - The DA in the City of Johannesburg has questioned the fitness of mayor Kabelo Gwamanda to carry out his duties, after his continued absence from a number of activities due to illness.
Recently, the mayor’s office said Gwamanda fell ill on Wednesday and had to be rushed to hospital, and this on the day he was due to participate in the State of the City Address (SoCA) debate.
He was unable to participate due to sickness, they said, and this morning DA caucus whip Leah Knot said they were concerned about the mayor’s fitness to hold office.
“As the Democratic Alliance we empathise with what is obviously a difficult time for him, however, his conspicuous absence at other public and council engagements prior to these important council meetings, as the Speaker herself has expressed concern about, is also a concern to the residents of Joburg and the DA,” Knott said.
Knott said the DA had written to the Speaker of Council, Colleen Makhubele and the Whip of Council, Sthembiso Zungu expressing concern about the mayor’s health.
“We have today written to the Speaker and Chief Whip of Council with regards to the Executive Mayor’s fitness and health with regard to his ability to not only attend the postponed SOCA debate and Budget Speech and debate, but also his various other commitments to Council and the City,” she said.
The party said they would insist that the Joburg Caucus was kept abreast of the situation and that the public also be made aware of their first citizen’s capability to hold office and fulfil his duties.
“We are all distressed about the current state of the City and what has been a tumultuous time for our residents, and as such would like clarity on whether he is being treated in hospital, has submitted a medical certificate, and how severe the situation is with reference to his ability to, not only attend the continuation of the SOCA debate, but also the extremely important Budget speech and debate and his other commitments in council,” Knott said.
The office of the Speaker of council appealed for privacy over the mayor’s health matters.
The acting spokesperson in the mayor’s office, Anisa Mazimpaka said she would study the DA’s statement and comment at a later stage.