City of Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga said on Tuesday that he was taken by surprise by the moves by the EFF to remove him as the capital city’s first citizen.
Msimanga faces the very real prospect of being removed as mayor after both the ANC and the EFF filed motions of no confidence in him last week.
This comes after he asked council for the suspension of city manager Moeketsi Mosola over a questionable R12-billion consultancy tender he signed with consultants GlandAfrica.
Addressing the media on Tuesday‚ Msimanga said he had a good working relationship with the EFF‚ which was instrumental in voting his coalition government into power.
“It came by surprise that when this particular matter came up‚ then it was a big concern‚” he said.
He said he always had engagements with the EFF leadership about the municipality. He said that on the Mosola issue‚ he wanted to “put everything on the table” because both his name and that of the municipality were “taking a beating” in the media.
“I don’t want to speculate about what went wrong in the relations [with the EFF]; I have always prided myself in being a consultative leader‚” he said.
Msimanga added that it was in fact the first time he had clashed with the red berets.
“I think I have always had a cordial relationship with the EFF. This was the first time we had to bump heads‚ where they felt I didn’t consult them‚” said Msimanga.
He insisted that he was not saying Mosola was guilty‚ but wanted an investigation into the matter and‚ according to the law‚ Mosola had to be suspended in order for this to happen.
But earlier‚ Msimanga did not hold back‚ accusing the EFF of colluding with the ANC in order to “loot and undermine the city”.
“The people of Tshwane must be under no illusion‚ this is not about good governance‚ it is about these parties naked pursuit of power and access to resources and patronage‚” said Msimanga.
The mayor also attacked the ANC in Tshwane‚ saying the party wanted to regain power through the back door.
He said that part of the attack on him was because he had been selected as the DA’s premier candidate in Gauteng for next year’s elections.
Msimanga said the DA caucus in Tshwane had expressed confidence in him at a meeting held on Monday that despite calls by the EFF for the party to put up a new candidate‚ the party will not budge.