Lebogang Maile rescinds suspensions of Joburg and Tshwane metro speakers
Gauteng co-operative and traditional affairs MEC Lebogang Maile has rescinded the suspension of the speakers of both the Johannesburg and Tshwane metros.
“In light of the advice received, MEC Maile has taken a decision to rescind the suspension of the two councillors with immediate effect,” said a statement issued by Maile’s office on Monday afternoon.
The decision was formally communicated to Vasco Da Gama, the speaker of the Joburg metro council, and Katlego Mathebe of Tshwane and their lawyers.
The statement revealed that Maile had consultations with senior counsel pertaining to a legal challenge brought by the governing DA in Tshwane, emanating from a decision taken by the Gauteng government to suspend the speakers without pay “for breaching the Code of Conduct for Councillors as embedded in Schedule 1 to the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act No. 32 of 2000”.
Last week Maile suspended Da Gama, a DA councillor, for three months without pay, and Mathebe for six months, for allegedly breaching the code of conduct. The DA challenged the suspensions, through its lawyers, saying Maile’s decisions were patently unlawful and could be set aside.
“Your decision will prevent democratically elected councillors from representing the voters who elected them. As such, your decision will cause immediate prejudice to our client as well as the residents of Tshwane and Johannesburg.”
They demanded that Maile rescind the suspensions or face urgent legal action to have his decisions set aside. They also warned Maile that they would seek cost orders against him in his personal capacity.
Maile will address the media on Tuesday to give reasons for rescinding the suspensions.