ActionSA has called for an urgent special sitting to replace outgoing City of Joburg council speaker Colleen Makhubele.
This after Makhubele was sacked by the Congress of the People (Cope) on Monday.
“We note that Ms Makhubele has managed to stave off her termination in the past and we are optimistic that this firing will hold.
“The people of Johannesburg can satisfy themselves that a speaker with dubious intentions is no longer at the helm of council business,” said Nobuhle Mthembu, ActionSA City of Johannesburg caucus leader.
ActionSA blames Makhubele for Joburg’s misfortunes
Mthembu said the former speaker will be remembered for her “misapprehension of the council standing”, which has cost the city a lot.
“This same speaker presided over the unlawful removal of the former mayor of the City of Joburg.
“It was under her reign where a decision to bring back Floyd Brink as the city manager was tabled before council.
“A decision which the court described as ‘impugned’.”
According to Mthembu, Makhubele’s dismissal is a step in the right direction.
He said it provides a chance for the restoration of the city that’s in shambles.
Makhubele’s dismissal was confirmed by Cope acting secretary-general Eric Matlaphamswe during a media briefing on Monday.
Matlaphamswe noted that Makhubele and another councillor in the City of Tshwane had joined a new political pact, the South African Alliance (SARA).
Makhubele allegedly signed the party up and lied about the party’s affiliation with the alliance.
She serves as a campaign face for the alliance and was chosen as the candidate president of the pact.
According to Matlaphamswe, the two councillors defied the party’s constitutions, and by so doing, they terminated their own memberships.
Dissolution of the council stalled
This development yields bad results for the DA, which is on a mission to have the Joburg council dissolved.
This is because without a speaker, the council cannot proceed with the proposed motion.
The party announced earlier this month that it would file a motion to dissolve the Joburg council on Friday.
The DA said in October that the main reason for this motion is because the city council is ineffective.
Reacting to the embattled speaker’s dismissal, the DA reiterated its stance.
It said that this confirms the urgent need to dissolve and transform the council.
Makhubele accused of running from accountability
The DA is accusing Makhubele of evading accountability for her failures.
Belinda Kayser-Echeozonjoku, DA Johannesburg caucus leader, said Makhubele ran the council like a circus.
“Political instability in Johannesburg has become the norm, and under speaker Makhubele’s leadership, the council chamber has turned into a circus.
Departure is just another ruse
“Her departure from Cope and council is a symptom of a disease that only has one cure – the dissolution of Johannesburg’s council.
“Speaker Makhubele’s decision comes at a time when her commitment to accountability and adherence to due process is under serious question.
“The DA’s persistent legal actions against her demonstrates a pattern of disregard for proper procedures and democratic principles in council proceedings.
“Her move to SARA, we believe, is an attempt to run away from accountability for these actions,” Kayser-Echeozonjoku said.
A new speaker needs to be elected soon
Currently, the City of Joburg is without a speaker.
ActionSA is demanding that the council hold an urgent sitting to elect a new speaker.
The party said this is so that the business of the house can continue uninterrupted.
“We, therefore, implore the city manager to call an extra-ordinary council where we can elect a new speaker.
Service delivery at stake
“A speaker that will abide by the Standing Council Rules and advance the service delivery needs of the people of Johannesburg.
“We need to close the Colleen chapter as soon as possible, the City cannot afford to go one day more without the speaker,” Mthembu concluded.