Msimanga ‘encouraged’ EFF boycotts being addressed at national level

07 September 2017 - 16:20 By Claudi Mailovich
City of Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga. File photo.
City of Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Veli Nhlapo

Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga is “encouraged” that the political impasse between the EFF and the DA‚ which led to the councils of Johannesburg and Tshwane being adjourned last week‚ is being addressed at a national level.

At a briefing following his first year in office on Thursday‚ Msimanga told journalists that the DA would have to deal with it if the EFF boycotted the next council meeting.

The EFF has taken a hard line on the political situation in Nelson Mandela Bay‚ claiming they would stay away from council meetings led by coalitions‚ to teach the DA how to work with its smaller coalition partners.

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa threatened to leave the coalition after deputy Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Mongameli Bobani a member of his party‚ was removed in a motion of no confidence. His removal followed months of escalating tensions between Bobani and Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip.

The EFF said in a statement explaining the reason for the boycott‚ that the actions of the DA in Nelson Mandela Bay “demonstrated an arrogance of power and white supremacy”.

Both the councils of Tshwane and Johannesburg had to be adjourned last Thursday after the EFF caucuses did not attend the meetings. The ANC caucuses later staged a walkout‚ which prevented the council meetings from having a quorum. The EFF acts as king maker in these metros‚ as well as in municipalities in Limpopo.

Responding to a question about how he feels for‚ effectively‚ being punished for the actions in Nelson Mandela Bay‚ Msimanga said: “If we didn’t do what is being done [there]‚ will we then be standing to fight corruption here? Will we be standing‚ trying to fight corruption in Johannesburg?”

The DA claimed there was prima facie evidence against Bobani for maladministration‚ fraud and tender irregularities in two forensic reports involving departments directly under his political and operational authority. Issues have also been raised about Bobani voting with the ANC in council. UDM leader Bantu Holomisa has asked for proof with regards to the allegations.

Instead of acting on his threat to withdraw from the coalition‚ the UDM has now taken Bobani’s removal to court to have it interdicted‚ reviewed and set aside.

Msimanga emphasised that the EFF has always voted on issues on a case-by-case basis‚ and that there has only been one council meeting since August last year that has not been able to sit.