'DA councillors not off the hook': MEC Maile after suspensions about-turn

28 January 2020 - 14:35 By Aphiwe Deklerk
Gauteng local government MEC Lebogang Maile has been forced to reinstate two suspended DA councillors, Johannesburg speaker Vasco da Gama, pictured, and Tshwane speaker Katlego Mathebe after taking legal advice. File photo.
Gauteng local government MEC Lebogang Maile has been forced to reinstate two suspended DA councillors, Johannesburg speaker Vasco da Gama, pictured, and Tshwane speaker Katlego Mathebe after taking legal advice. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images / Beeld / Felix Dlangamandla

Gauteng local government MEC Lebogang Maile says the two DA councillors he suspended are not off the hook despite him now rescinding the suspensions.

Maile last week issued a statement saying he had suspended former Johannesburg speaker Vasco da Gama and Tshwane speaker Katlego Mathebe over their conduct. 

Their suspensions were linked to council meetings meant to deal with motions of no confidence in the DA leadership in the two municipalities. 

Maile stuck to his guns on Tuesday, referring to the councillors as "delinquents". 

"Our decision to suspend both councillors was not taken lightly and in a partisan manner, but rather in the spirit of good governance," he said. "The merit and correctness of our decision remains, as our actions have been consistent with the constitution and pertinent municipal legislation." 

He was addressing a media briefing in Johannesburg a day after publicly announcing that he had rescinded his decision to suspend the two. 

Maile said his about-turn came after obtaining legal advice on the matter, which included two similar cases in the Western Cape. 

He said he had since written to both councils so they could deal with the matter. 

He said that in light of "the strong merits of our initial decision", he had issued a written directive to the chief whip of Tshwane and accepted the request of the chief whip of Johannesburg, respectively, to conduct an investigation into the matter and come to a final determination within seven days". 

Maile claimed he was "not playing politics" when he took his initial decision. 

He said he was prepared to take responsibility, and said when he took the decision neither he nor his legal team were aware of the two cases in the Western Cape. 


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