ActionSA open to talks with DA to revive Joburg coalition govt after Mpho Phalatse’s court victory

ActionSA open to talks with DA to revive Joburg coalition govt after Mpho Phalatse’s court victory

ActionSA open to talks with DA to revive Joburg coalition govt after Mpho Phalatse’s court victory

ActionSA, the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) former coalition partner in the City of Joburg, has welcomed the high court ruling reinstating Mpho Phalatse as the mayor of Joburg.

However, the party says the court ruling does not change the “dynamics of instability” that led to the collapse of the DA’s multi-party coalition government in the metro.

“It is an important correction of an unlawful process followed by the ANC to remove the coalition government,” said ActionSA national chairperson, Michael Beaumont, in a statement.

DA wins urgent court application

The South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg declared as “unlawful, unconstitutional, and invalid” the removal of Phalatse from office last month through a motion of no confidence, and the subsequent election of the current mayor, the ANC’s Dada Morero.

In her judgment delivered on Tuesday, Judge Raylene Keightley said the processes followed by council Speaker Colleen Makhubele leading up to the motion of no confidence in Phalatse were unlawful.

The DA had argued in court that Phalatse’s ouster was an illegal power grab by the ANC and its coalition partners.

The party also argued that the programming committee meeting chaired by Joburg council Speaker Colleen Makhubele, to adopt the no-confidence motion in Phalatse, did not quorate, and therefore Morero’s election was invalid.

Makhubele was ordered to pay the costs of the DA’s urgent application after the party asked the high court to impose a personal costs order against her.

Decisions taken by Morero set aside

Judge Keightley further ruled that all decisions taken by Morero, following his election to office, were unlawful and set aside.

The order was suspended for a period of 10 days until it was confirmed by the high court.

“During such period the fifth respondent, or other authorized officer, may apply to the high court, on supplemented papers, for an order in terms of Section 172 (1) (b) (i) of the Constitution in respect of any specified decision of the fourth respondent (Morero) made between 30 September 2022 and the handing down of this order.”

Ball in DA’s court for Joburg coalition

While ActionSA welcomed Tuesday’s court judgment, Beaumont said the return of the DA-led multi-party coalition government could be a “technical event that lasts a day or a week”, depending on what happens in council.

He said ActionSA was calling on the DA to demonstrate its commitment to multi-party coalitions by providing an alternative to the ANC in Joburg.

“In this regard the DA must decide whether it is willing to re-engage its former coalition partners and secure enough support to sustain a government, or whether it has given up on the coalition and surrendered the residents of Johannesburg to four more years of ANC governance,” Beaumont said.

He said ActionSA publicly committed itself, once again, to any discussions that could lead to the multi-party coalition government being able to sustain itself over the next four years.

Beaumont said the party was committing itself in order for improved service delivery and institutional changes to take effect in Joburg.

“The services needed by the residents of Johannesburg cannot be delivered from the opposition benches and nor can the fight against corruption be won unless the coalition is in government.

“ActionSA is committed to the work of fixing Johannesburg and for this, the coalition must govern for the rest of the term of office.

“We call upon all political parties committed to providing an alternative to the ANC to come together and deliver on this commitment.”

DA reaffirms its position on EFF

Meanwhile, the DA on Monday reaffirmed its position not to work with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in the City of Joburg.

Although the DA was not in coalition with the EFF, the Red Berets helped the party in council to install Phalatse as the metro’s mayor after last year’s municipal elections.

Phalatse proposed to the DA that it works with the EFF to recapture Joburg from the ANC, but the DA’s Federal Executive (Fedex) rejected the officer.

“After a full and open engagement, in which many perspectives were analyzed and discussed, the Fedex resolved to re-affirm its position that it will not negotiate nor enter into coalitions with the EFF,” DA national spokesperson, Solly Malatsi, said in a statement.

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