The small municipality of Mogale City on Gauteng’s West Rand will attempt to elect a new mayor on Wednesday, after the DA mayor was removed in a vote of no confidence a week ago.

The removal of Michael Holenstein followed months of political infighting between the multi-party government and the ANC.

The coalition could lose the executive seat if the voting pattern of last week is repeated, which could see the ANC regaining power in Mogale City after it lost its majority in the 2016 municipal elections. The municipality has had no mayoral committee for the week as well, as it is appointed on the prerogative of the mayor.

The election of a new mayor is one of the first item’s on the council’s agenda.

The ANC has 38 councilors, while the coalition government, made up of the DA, the Freedom Front Plus, the IFP, and the EFF as voting partners, has 39 councilors. Holenstein’s removal was made possible after one of the coalition councilors voted with the ANC. It was passed with 39 votes.

The IFP openly blamed a DA councilor for selling out the coalition, after the Freedom Front Plus, the IFP and the EFF voted with specific coloured pens to make it possible to track their votes in a secret ballot. The DA, according to Alco Ngobese, provincial secretary for the IFP in Gauteng, voted with different coloured pens.

The result of the secret ballot reiterated the outcome of the vote for the speaker and the chief whip of the council, after the ANC kept these positions. The split in which parties held the positions of speaker, chief whip and mayor, led to conflict in the municipality.

Also on the agenda for the council is the budget and the integrated development plan, which have not been passed. The municipality is already non-compliant with the Municipal Finance Management Act. If the budget is not passed by July 1, the municipality can be put under administration by the provincial government.

The DA had accused the ANC of running a political destabilisation campaign in Mogale City, to get it back under ANC control.

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