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Gauteng DA launches yet another ‘desperate’ bid to oust Makhura, but this time ‘we’ve got the numbers’

Gauteng DA launches yet another ‘desperate’ bid to oust Makhura, but this time ‘we’ve got the numbers’
Gauteng premier David Makhura. (Photo: Gallo Images / Papi Morake)

For the second time in consecutive years, the DA in Gauteng is to sponsor the provincial legislature with yet another motion of no confidence against the premier, David Makhura, following the many unfulfilled promises and scandals on his watch. Will the opposition succeed?

‘The motion of no confidence is based on the change that the people of Gauteng are yearning for. And if that makes us desperate, yes we are desperate – just not for the reasons they have put upfront but for a better life and better services for Gauteng residents.” 

These were the words of the DA’s Solly Msimanga, leader of the opposition in the Gauteng legislature and former Tshwane mayor, at a Monday media briefing on the motion to be tabled in the provincial legislature against premier David Makhura.

Makhura’s office says the latest move by the DA is an act of sheer “desperation for relevance”.

Msimanga said the tabling of the motion has been on the cards since early 2022 but was on hold, but they have had to take action now because Gauteng is decaying daily under Makhura’s watch.

“The public purse under his watch has been looted unabated and having premier Makhura in office for any longer will only make this situation worse.” 

According to Msimanga, Makhura must go because he has failed to live up to his many promises and responsibilities, including lifestyle audits for Gauteng’s executive and making public the Special Investigating Unit’s (SIU) reports into various allegations of corruption. Then there was his office’s implication in irregular Covid-19 procurement tenders at the Gauteng health department and failure to take steps to recover some of the money lost to the personal protective equipment (PPE) tender scandal.

“One scandal is one too many under his watch. Makhura is not fit to lead the country’s economic hub, Gauteng. And a motion of no confidence can usher in a new leader into government that will put the people first and spend their hard-earned taxes openly and transparently. To arrest poverty, crime and unemployment.”

Gauteng premier David Makhura’s office rubbished all the allegations, saying it showed the DA’s desperation for relevance. (Photo: Alet Pretorius / Gallo Images via Getty Images)

The move against Makhura is nothing new – there are already three motions of no confidence from 2017, 2018 and 2021.

The 2017 and 2018 motions were lodged by the EFF supported by the DA, following the Life Esidimeni tragedy. In 2021, the DA lodged another against Makhura’s office owing to its implication in irregular PPE tenders. 

A numbers game in the legislature

However, all three were overturned, with help from the IFP in the most recent one. The ANC defeated its motion by 37 votes while the DA and EFF managed 33 votes. The DA attributed this to the Gauteng legislature voting not being done via secret ballot and not engaging with other opposition parties before the legislature members voted.

Msimanga said that this time they are confident the motion will turn out in their favour.

“We are engaging with other political parties within the legislature to vote with us because we are very much aware of the numbers game in the provincial legislature but also we [are] aware of the ANCs own internal battles. We are very confident of the numbers we have in terms of the DA and other political parties that we have engaged with.”

A desperate move

In a statement circulated before the DA’s media briefing, Makhura’s office rubbished all the allegations, saying it showed the DA’s desperation for relevance.

This comes against the backdrop of DA prominent leaders leaving the party, the latest being Makashule Gana, a member of the Gauteng legislature who said last Thursday he would be seeking an “inclusive political alternative”.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Makashule Gana quits DA – ‘something new is required to rise collectively’

“The planned tabling of the motion of no confidence by the Democratic Alliance in the Gauteng provincial legislature is clear desperation for relevance and an attempt to remove the spotlight on the instability in their party. The Gauteng provincial government under the leadership of Makhura over the last eight years spent considerable time and effort in introducing reforms aimed at institutionalising integrity and an ethical culture within the government system, one which promotes good governance, transparency and accountability,” read the statement. 

“The reports that the party alleges to have not seen were tabled in the legislature and to the broader public. The SIU investigation revealed serious irregularities in the health and infrastructure development departments. The Gauteng provincial government, acting on the recommendations of the SIU, placed nine senior officials on precautionary suspension in December 2021 for contravening various legislations regulating public procurement. These lessons and actions taken are contained in the state of ethics, integrity management systems and anti-corruption report, which is a first of its kind by a government institution. This report was released in May 2022.”

In response to the statement Msimanga said: “We are not desperate as a party but indeed we are desperate as a country and as a province for leadership that is accountable, for unemployment, and new ideas in our province of Gauteng.” DM


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