Is Tshwane mayor Stevens Mokgalapa going to Parliament?
Is newly-elected Tshwane mayor Stevens Mokgalapa on his way out of the capital city barely a month after taking office?
Mokgalapa was elected mayor last month to replace Solly Msimanga, who is now the DA’s Gauteng premier candidate. Mokgalapa's name, however, appears on the list of DA members heading to the national assembly that was released on Saturday.
He is number 79 on the DA list, a position which guarantees him a spot in the national assembly should his party maintain its current electoral support, or increase it, as its own internal poll predicts.
Contacted by TimesLive on Saturday afternoon, Mokgalapa was non-committal about his future.
He said that his name appears on the list because he had applied to return to Parliament last year, before the Tshwane job was available. But he could not say why he had not withdrawn as a potential national assembly candidate upon his appointment as Tshwane mayor.
When I decide to say ‘remove me from the list’, I can say so at any given timeStevens Mokgalapa
“Everybody reserves their rights up until [after the elections] ... when I decide to say ‘remove me from the list’, I can say so at any given time.
“It is my prerogative to do that ... I have got a right, the process started when I was an MP. I got into a democratic process and this is where the list is,” Mokagalapa said.
He claims there’s enough time before the elections to decide whether to accept or decline the nomination to serve in Parliament.
Mokgalapa’s apparent indecisiveness comes as the EFF, which helped the DA take over Tshwane in 2016, hinted that it would assume control of the city after the May 8 elections.
EFF leader Julius Malema earlier this month told guests at a gala dinner that they would punish the DA by relieving them of the city. The two parties have been at loggerheads over the future of municipal manager Moeketsi Mosola, a central figure in the controversy surrounding the award of a lucrative contract to engineering consultants, GladAfrica.
Mokgalapa announced last week that the contract, which the auditor-general found to be invalid, would be terminated.