EFF to complain about Tshwane speaker's 'bullying behaviour'

16 January 2020 - 17:59 By Aphiwe Deklerk
Gauteng MEC for co-operative governance and traditional affairs Lebogang Maile. File photo.
Gauteng MEC for co-operative governance and traditional affairs Lebogang Maile. File photo.
Image: Mabuti Kali © Sowetan

The EFF and ANC are pinning their hopes on Gauteng Cogta MEC Lebogang Maile to deal with Tshwane speaker Katlego Mathebe.

Mathebe on Thursday ensured that the two parties did not get their way with setting the agenda of a meeting that was meant to topple the DA administration. That led to the collapse of the meeting after the parties walked out after a standoff with Mathebe that lasted almost six hours.

The EFF and ANC indicated they would write to Maile to complain about the speaker's conduct.

Maile on Wednesday issued a public warning to Mathebe to run a smooth meeting on Thursday or face the chop.

“What the speaker must not do is what she did last time, coming to council and then leave [midway]. The speaker must come into council, take her chair, [and] indicate to council that because there is a motion against her, she is going to recuse herself,” said Maile.

“And then [she must] facilitate that process of appointing the person who must relieve her, that’s what we expect.” 

He also threatened to expel her as a councillor.

“If the speaker does not execute her responsibilities, as stipulated in the constitution ... we invoke the powers of the MEC for Cogta, and it has nothing to do with politics, to either suspend or expel her as a councillor,” he added.

The bone of contention at Thursday's meeting was the order in which motions of no confidence would be heard.

Mathebe had placed the motion of no confidence in herself to be heard last, meaning she would preside over the motions of no confidence against mayor Stevens Makgalapa, acting speaker Zweli Khumalo and chair of chairs Gert Pretorius.

The ANC and EFF wanted the motion of no confidence in Mathebe to be discussed first.

They argued that since they were the ones who effectively called the meeting, by petitioning the speaker, they had the right to set the agenda.

Mathebe, however, would not budge and after three caucus breaks the EFF and the ANC threw in the towel and left the meeting without a quorum.

Before his party’s departure EFF leader Oliver Mbongwana slammed Mathebe, saying she was a law unto herself.

“We have requested you that as petitioners you must afford us an opportunity to reorder the agenda. You have refused,” said Mbongwana.

He said his party did not think it would be lawful for them to sit in the meeting while it was presided over by Mathebe.

“We are going to leave here but let's warn you that after leaving, we are then going to write to Maile to complain about your bullying behaviour,” said Mbongwana.

ANC chief whip Aaron Maluleka told Mathebe that his party was walking out and would also write to Maile.

But council chief whip Christo van den Heever applauded Mathebe for the way she handled the meeting.