ANC Tshwane takeover attempt thwarted by council speaker
Katlego Mathebe has declined an urgent request to hold a council meeting that could result in the DA losing power
Tshwane council speaker Katlego Mathebe has declined an urgent request by the ANC and EFF to hold a council meeting that could see the DA removed from power.
Last week, the parties wrote to Mathebe, petitioning her to hold a special council meeting that would discuss motions of no confidence in political leaders at the council, including against mayor Stevens Mokgalapa and Mathebe.
This is a second attempt by the two parties to topple the DA-led coalition government in Tshwane.
The DA and ANC are embroiled in a court battle after a chaotic council meeting late in 2019 where the EFF teamed up with the ANC in a bid to remove Mathebe and Mokgalapa.
The North Gauteng High Court has interdicted the outcomes of that meeting pending the finalisation of the matter.
But Mathebe has now declined the latest petition. City spokesperson Lindela Mashego said Mathebe had “thoroughly examined” documents supporting the motion but declined to call a meeting.
“[Mathebe] found seven signatures in the ANC caucus document that do not match the signatures in the files of the council meetings attendance registers.
“The same document also looks like a copy and paste of the signatures that were submitted to support the request of the meeting of December 5 2019,” said Mashego.
He said that, according to Mathebe, “both these issues render the ANC document improper, legally”.
Mashego said the speaker found that the EFF’s supporting documents were signed by only 25 councillors and, as such, did not meet requirements.
“Therefore she resolved that she cannot legally convene the special council meeting as per the request of the ANC and the EFF.
“The speaker also resolved to investigate if certain councillors did not contravene the councillors' code of conduct in this matter, because it is important that councillors conduct the business of council with honesty and integrity at all times,” said Mashego.
But ANC Tshwane chair Kgosi Maepa rejected Mathebe’s claim about the forged signatures.
“How can you forge your own signature?” Maepa asked.
He said the ANC was shocked by Mathebe’s response, and said that it was not at her discretion to call a meeting, but was mandated by law to do so.
“She can verify signatures only after we have attended the meeting. The signatures are the same signatures that were used to call the December 5 meeting by the same councillors,” said Maepa.
He said Mathebe was just using delaying tactics by refusing to call the meeting.