Tshwane mayor Stevens Mokgalapa quits ahead of disciplinary hearing

02 February 2020 - 10:33 By Qaanitah Hunter
Tshwane mayor Stevens Mokgalapa says he will resign before the next council meeting at the end of February.
Tshwane mayor Stevens Mokgalapa says he will resign before the next council meeting at the end of February.
Image: DA

Embattled Tshwane mayor Stevens Mokgalapa on Sunday announced his imminent resignation after he was given two options by the DA: resign or be fired.

In a statement, Mokgalapa said he will resign before the next council meeting at the end of February but insisted he did nothing wrong.

“This has been a tough decision. However, the most important consideration is to put the people of Tshwane first,” he said.

Mokgalapa said he cared for the people and did not want to put politics first.

“I am cognisant of the fact that my presence in office is a football that others with political malice cannot resist kicking around. Those that put politics first, risk dragging down the administration and unfortunately, they do not care about the people. I do,” he said.

The Sunday Times reported on Sunday that Mokgalapa was due to be dragged before the party’s federal legal commission after the federal executive last week found that there were grounds to charge him for bringing the party into disrepute.

It is understood that DA leaders who are sympathetic to Mokgalapa have advised him to voluntarily step down to protect his career prospects.

The report noted that Mokgalapa’s charges relate to a leaked audio clip apparently featuring him and former member of the mayoral committee for roads and transport Sheila Senkubuge. In the recording, the two can be heard discussing plans to fire other city officials before engaging in an apparent act of intimacy. Mokgalapa and Senkubuge can also be heard referring to the Tshwane council speaker, Katlego Mathebe, as a witch.

The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because discussions were meant to be kept confidential, said it was unlikely that Mokgalapa would survive the disciplinary hearing and remain as mayor.

In his statement Mokgalapa insisted that he did not break the law.

“I wish to make clear that I have not broken any laws and am confident that I would emerge positively from any assessment of my conduct. But in the end, I have concluded that it is best for the city if I stand down as mayor,” he said.

DA Gauteng leader John Moodey said he noted Mokgalapa’s resignation.

“The DA will now initiate processes to nominate a new mayor for the people of Tshwane. In doing so, we will assess the candidates who make themselves available and will consult widely, including with our coalition partners,” he said.

Moodey said while the party notes the mayor’s achievements, it accepts his resignation.