DA mustn’t cry foul as parties seek to oust Joburg mayor Mpho Phalatse, says Ronald Lamola

DA mustn’t cry foul as parties seek to oust Joburg mayor Mpho Phalatse, says Ronald Lamola

DA mustn’t cry foul as parties seek to oust Joburg mayor Mpho Phalatse, says Ronald Lamola

Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola says the Democratic Alliance (DA) must not “cry foul” as opposition parties fight to remove City of Joburg mayor Mpho Phalatse from office.

The DA’s hold on power in the City of Joburg has been shaken by opposition parties in the past few weeks following the removal of council speaker Vasco da Gama.

The Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) had tabled no-confidence motion against Da Gama, which saw him ousted by 136 votes.

The motion was backed by the ANC, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and other smaller parties in council.

Now the parties, who have suggested that Phalatse has failed in her duties, are planning to have the Joburg mayor removed from her position.

The DA has since accused the ANC and EFF of trying to destabilise the multi-party coalition government in Johannesburg.

‘True colours’

While the DA has also laid charges against ANC for allegedly bribing council members to vote out Da Gama, Lamola has criticised the party for failing to serve the needs of particular Joburg residents.

“What is happening in the City of Johannesburg is not a back door process… It is a process provided by the law to collapse the marriage between the DA and their partners.

“The people and the other [parties] have seen the true colours of the DA that they are still yearning the years of Apartheid, where services are delivered in a racially skewed manner. A manner that is following the Apartheid spatial planning [by] only looking after affluent suburbs and only those of white [people],” he said.

The minister continued to say: “This process [of the motion] is part of democracy that the DA must accept because it is provided for by the laws of the City of Johannesburg so they must not cry foul.”

The DA-led government was granted an interdict to stop a special sitting in the Joburg council, which had been scheduled for Tuesday.

The City had approached the courts, arguing that Chair of Chairs, Colleen Makhubele had no authority to convene any meeting of council.

The interdict means that the City will elect a new Speaker during another special council meeting scheduled for 26 September.

In addition, the opposition will discuss its motion against Phalatse on Thursday.

Corruption allegations

Phalatse has been accused of corruption and maladministration, which relates to a payment made to a non-profit organization (NGO) without the authorization of the council.

The NGO, Field Band Foundation, provided services to the metropolitan municipality for more than R11 million in 2017.

Meanwhile, Phalatse has also been accused of concealing evidence related to equipment the City allegedly bought illegally.

Despite the State Security Agency (SSA) clearing the Joburg mayor and former group forensics and investigation services (GFIS) commissioner Shadrack Sibiya of being in possession of intelligence gathering equipment, the pair has been reported to the police.

The City acquired the controversial spy machine in 2016, when the DA first came into power.

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