ANC accused of being instrumental in collapse of Joburg council meetings

13 December 2016 - 20:38 By TMG Digital

The speaker of the Johannesburg Council‚ Vasco Da Gama‚ has accused the ANC of being instrumental in the collapse of council meetings.

The DA's elected City of Johannesburg speaker Vasco Da Gama.
The DA's elected City of Johannesburg speaker Vasco Da Gama.
Image: Gallo Images / Beeld / Felix Dlangamandla

He charged on Tuesday that since the election of the new council the ANC have “done their level best” to obstruct and delay council proceedings‚ ultimately impacting on the council’s ability to serve the residents of Johannesburg.

Noting with concern a statement released by the ANC on Monday with regard to the collapse of council meetings in the City of Joburg‚ Da Gama referred to the ANC’s remarks as disingenuous‚ saying they amounted to cheap politicking and that their weak attempts at political grandstanding should be condemned.

“It is important that the public to be informed of the truth behind what is happening in the council meetings and the instrumental role the ANC has played in collapsing these important meetings‚ preventing council from concluding important business. Below I have detailed a number of such incidents.

“At a Council meeting on 27 October 2016‚ I rightly ruled the ANC Chief Whip‚ Cllr Solly Mogase and ex EISD MMC‚ Cllr Tshidi Mfikoe out of order and instructed them to leave the Council Chamber. They refused to do so‚ contravening the Standing rules of Council on numerous occasions. Never before has the Office of the Speaker been treated with such disrespect.

“At a Council meeting on 25 November 2016‚ DA Cllr Luyolo Mphithi had several ANC Caucus members run up to him and intimidate him in the Council Chamber after referring to the ANC as ‘rotten’.

“At a Council meeting on 7 December 2016‚ANC Cllr RT Nefotoni made himself guilty of contravening the Standing Orders of Council‚ Rule 70 (1)(e)‚ commenting on matters that are irrelevant by insulting the Mayor instead of debating the Transport item.

“I have also noted with great concern that Cllr Parks Tau‚ ANC caucus leader‚ together with the ANC Whip Cllr Solly Mogase do nothing to manage an unruly ANC Caucus during Council meetings. In fact‚ Cllr Tau left the October meeting early and did not even attend the December Council meeting‚” Da Gama stated.

He added that with regard to the postponement of the council meeting on 7 December 2016‚ he was within his right to adjourn the meeting and call a continuation of the failed meeting.

“It was deemed urgent as quarterly reports had to be voted on and cannot be sent to Province without being tabled in Council.”

A special council meeting was called for December 12 to allow for the urgent council business (tabling of quarterly reports) to be completed before the new year‚ Da Gama said‚ adding that it was disgraceful that the ANC caucus had chosen to start its holiday rather than serve the residents of the city as required of elected officials.

“It is also very telling that they chose to miss a meeting where Council was set to vote on an amendment to the Supply Chain Management Policy which would have seen the first open tender system in the City of Joburg as we wage war on corruption. Something the previous administrations had failed to do.

“The chaos being manufactured in Council by the ANC caucus is being done for party political reasons and does nothing to serve the best interests of the residents of our City. In fact‚ it is aimed at hampering Council’s ability to deliver on its mandate.

“It is my hope that the ANC Caucus comes to its senses and understands that at all times the best interests of our residents must be of paramount importance in the work we do‚” Da Gama said.