ActionSA sharpens axe for Johannesburg mayor Amad

City of Johannesburg mayor Thapelo Amad’s days in office are numbered, as the power struggles continue in Gauteng metros.

Funzi Ngobeni, ActionSA caucus leader in the City of Johannesburg, has announced that the party will on Tuesday submit motions of no confidence in the mayor and other officials elected through “crooked dealings” between the ANC and EFF.

Amad, a councillor of the Al-Jama-Ah, replaced the sedulous erstwhile mayor Mpho Phalatse who was ousted through a motion of no confidence in January.

Phalatse lost the mayoral chain when 140 council members voted in favour of her removal, after the minority parties including the African Transformation Movement, African Independent Congress, and Al Jama-Ah tabled a motion of no confidence in her leadership.

Amad’s fall from grace comes after he was seen mortifying himself during a television interview at the weekend, where he revealed his personal involvement in procuring a R9.5-billion loan for the city.

After the interview went viral, Patriotic Alliance leader Gayton MacKenzie, who was in support of Amad when Phalatse was ousted, took to Twitter to admit that his party made a mistake and that the mayor was seemingly asked to “climb a mountain too high for him”.

McKenzie called for Amad to resign and stated that the party will do its best to rectify the blunder.

“We must put the citizens of Joburg first and admit we have backed the wrong horse. Thapelo Amad has been asked to climb a mountain too high for him.

“It’s not just harming Joburg, it’s destroying him too. We will rectify this blunder. Amad should resign now. We apologise profusely,” he wrote.

According to Ngobeni, Amad has proven to be a dismal failure in his short-lived tenure. 

He said since his election, the mayor has been unable to “articulate a coherent plan of action” and has no vision for the city.

“ActionSA will today [Tuesday] submit motions of no confidence in the City of Johannesburg puppet mayor Thapelo Amad, the dishonest speaker Colleen Makhubele, and other office bearers who were all appointed through crooked dealings between the ANC’s Gauteng provincial chairperson Panyaza Lesufi and the EFF,” said Ngobeni.

“Mayor Amad, an expedient candidate between the ANC and EFF’s coalition of doom, has repeatedly proven to be woefully ill-equipped and unable to articulate a coherent plan of action and vision for the City of Johannesburg.

“Most recently, Amad has shown his inability to understand the basics of a loan agreement in a television interview.

“Since Amad’s election, service delivery in Johannesburg has rapidly deteriorated with heaps of rubbish pilling our city’s streets, while ANC members of the mayoral committee, such as Jack Sekwaila, want to blame homeless people for the city’s mess instead of taking responsibility themselves.”

Makhubela is also on the list of people facing the axe.

ActionSA is accusing Makhubele of being a liar “who neglects their duties to take care of their own interests”.

According to Ngobeni, Makhubele lied about her health and was later seen at the City of Tshwane council attending to matters of her party, the Congress of the People (COPE), in the city.

“Speaker Makhubele used ‘ill health’ as an excuse not to address her duties in the City of Johannesburg council but was spotted in the City of Tshwane on the same day attending to COPE squabbles. This is inexcusable, and the people of Johannesburg deserve better.

“While political differences may have characterised the tenure of previous mayors and speakers, it would be safe to say that residents and businesses are embarrassed by what the ANC and EFF have served up to lead the economic hub of our country,” said Ngobeni.

Ngobeni added that ActionSA the people of Johannesburg voted for change in the 2021 municipal elections by drastically reducing the ANC’s majority.

He said: “When Panyaza Lesufi’s ANC and EFF could not come to terms about who leads Johannesburg, they were willing to force on the residents of Johannesburg someone patently not fit to lead Johannesburg.

“Amad and Makhubele did not elect themselves with their three seats collectively, they were elected by a compromise deal in which it appears the residents of Joburg are being asked to make the biggest compromise. This is why ActionSA is taking action.”

Ngobeni said the motions of no confidence in the mayor and the speaker will be considered during the next council sitting on April 25, adding that the party will litigate against Makhubele should she decide to protect herself.

“ActionSA will start with engaging with all other parties in the council to ensure that the ANC and EFF are removed from exerting any further control on Johannesburg, and we are confident of our prospects of success.

“We believe that to fix South Africa, we must remove the ANC and their proxies from power, and we will collaborate with all like-minded political parties to achieve that goal, and to restore good governance and quality service delivery in Johannesburg.”

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