ANC and EFF are conniving to collapse Tshwane council: Steenhuisen
Interim DA leader John Steenhuisen has slammed the ANC and the EFF for trying to take over the City of Tshwane via the back door.
Steenhuisen said it was clear that the two parties were deliberately collapsing council meetings to force Gauteng local government MEC Lebogang Maile to place the municipality under administration.
He said there was a great deal of frustration among his colleagues in the city. "This is a very deliberate strategy and it has been driven intentionally by the ANC because what they want to do is portray the council as dysfunctional and unable to operate,” he said.
Steenhuisen said intervention by provinces in municipalities should not be used as a weapon to collapse council meetings.
“I want to make it very, very clear that we will resist [intervention] by Mr Maile and if we need to, take that matter on review to court.”
The interim DA leader was addressing the media in Pretoria after the party's top brass met its caucus in the city of Tshwane.
Steenhuisen was flanked by federal council chairperson and former party leader Helen Zille, head of the party's governance unit James Selfe, Gauteng leader John Moodey and provincial chairperson Mike Moriarty.
Tshwane is leaderless after the resignation of executive mayor Stevens Mokgalapa. The council has failed on numerous occasions to appoint a successor because of walkouts by the ANC, the largest opposition in Tshwane, and the EFF. The walkouts have also stalled efforts to replace the city manager.
The EFF previously voted with the DA in council, but the two parties have since had a fallout.
Steenhuisen said the EFF and ANC deliberately collapsed last week's council meeting, meant to elect the mayor, because the two parties needed more time to reach a deal over who would lead the municipality.
He said the DA was worried about service delivery and asked the parties to “find each other” or “find us”. He said they were in talks with all parties in an effort to resolve the Tshwane impasse.
Asked if his party was ready to work with the ANC, which wants a “unity government”, he said the DA would consider all proposals.