Tshwane speaker dodges move to oust him from top job

Mncedi Ndzwanana, a councillor from the African Transformation Movement who was elected speaker of the Tshwane council, has managed to avoid an attempt to remove him from his position.

A motion of no confidence against Ndzwanana was scheduled for Monday after councillors from the DA-led multi-party coalition, which holds the majority in the council, submitted a petition accusing him of adjourning an important meeting unlawfully last Wednesday.

The meeting was supposed to elect a new mayor, and the coalition has claimed that Ndzwanana’s actions caused an unnecessary delay.

Over the weekend, city manager Johan Mettler confirmed that a special meeting would be held on Monday to address a petition submitted by the councillors and to consider the motion of no confidence against Ndzwanana.

However, Ndzwanana, who chaired the meeting, adjourned it and claimed that it had been unlawfully convened.

He explained that his office received a petition “after normal working hours” on Friday and did not contest the motion’s tabling.

However, after reviewing a petition, he discovered that some of the signatures did not match the signatory list on record in his office.

“I am of the view that the petition does not meet the minimum requirement as set out in the legislation and that means this meeting is illegal and adjourned,” said Ndzwanana.

Before the meeting commenced, EFF councillor Obakeng Ramabodu made allegations on Twitter that the multi-party coalition had engaged in forgery.

He posted a sample of the signature of the DA’s Tshwane deputy chief whip, Katlego Makgaleng, from two different documents to demonstrate that they were not the same.

The post reads: “Tshwane DA has sent 20 fake and fraudulent signatures of councillors to petition today’s meeting. When will the DA and ActionSA be held accountable? Firstly, it was the Electoral Act fraud of 69 spoiled votes [and] now they fake signatures to petition a meeting.”

Despite attempts to reach him, Ramabodu did not respond to Sunday World’s enquiries to verify his claims.

On the other hand, Jacqui Uys from the DA dismissed the allegations and demanded that the EFF provide proof to substantiate the claims.

“The EFF has often made false allegations to the media, and then we are pressured for a response, but why give credibility to a claim that has not been substantiated,” asked Uys.

“Katlego Makgaleng is our deputy chief whip. Not only was he part of the team that got signatures, but he also scanned and submitted the petition to the speaker himself.”

Speaking to the media outside the council chambers, Kwena Moloto, DA Tshwane councillor, affirmed that all signatures from the petition are legitimate.

Moloto added that the city council is being held hostage by a minority faction [the ANC and EFF alliance], however, the DA-led multiparty coalition is considering its legal options.

Also read: Tshwane council speaker Ndzwanana faces uncertain future

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