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No dice on Da Gama — ActionSA calls on DA to nominate Joburg speaker ‘accepted by all’

No dice on Da Gama — ActionSA calls on DA to nominate Joburg speaker ‘accepted by all’
Cllr Funzi Ngobeni. (Photo: Gallo Images/Papi Morake)| Colleen Makhubele of Cope. (Photo: Supplied)

Despite having voted against the motion to oust council speaker Vasco Da Gama, ActionSA has made it clear that they are not willing to give him a second chance. The party wants the DA to look at another suitable candidate to take up the position. 

ActionSA caucus leader Funzi Ngobeni said that their agreement in the coalition states that the speaker position be occupied by a councillor from the DA, however, it does not mean that they wanted Vasco Da Gama to be voted in yet again. 

He was speaking during a press briefing held at the Metropolitan Centre, in the heart of Joburg on Friday. 

Ngobeni explained that they had their own issues with Da Gama and how he presided over council meetings. He said the former speaker was often lenient on opposition parties like the ANC, EFF and Al Jama-ah adding that the next speaker should be someone who is able to manage councillors. 

“We have raised our issues with Vasco, we have raised our issues with the coalition internally. We think that the DA must reflect very hard on this. We hope that they will not bring him into the coalition, they must have other people within their ranks who they will propose as a speaker. They must be able to bring someone who is accepted by all of us,” he reiterated.

Da Gama was booted out through a motion of no confidence in the early hours of Thursday. Minority parties along with the ANC and EFF received the backing of a Cope member, ATM, UIM, and an IFP councillor, as well as two ACDP votes who are part of the multi-party coalition.

The motion of no confidence brought against Da Gama, submitted in terms of Rule 89 (2) and 94 (1) of the Standing Rules and Orders of the Council, was brought about by the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) and seconded by the African Independent Congress (AIC).


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Minority parties make up 11 seats in the council, but with the backing of the ANC and EFF, they were able to muster at least 131 votes against Da Gama. With the help of Cope (1), ATM (1), UIM (1) a member from the IFP as well as two ACDP votes, they had exactly 50% plus one (136 votes) — enough to oust Da Gama. 132 councillors opposed the motion.

 

The fractured coalition held a meeting with its partners on Thursday and parties whose councillors voted against Da Gama have vowed to address the matter. 

Now that Vasco Da Gama has been booted out, the ANC intends on hauling him before the Ethics Committee for allegedly wasting funds on an illegal council meeting which cost the municipality in excess of half a million rands. 

The opposition are going to table another motion to get rid of City of Joburg Executive Mayor Mpho Phalatse in September. Their motion was not passed this time around by programming because minority parties wanted to base it on Phalatse’s allegedly unlawful conduct regarding R11-million which is said to have been unprocedurally paid to NGO, Field Band Foundation. During this time, Phalatse was the MMC for health and social development and was accused by the ANC of spearheading the deal.

Ngobeni did however set the record straight about Phalatse,  saying that ActionSA is satisfied with her performance which means they will be voting against the motion. 

“They are free to bring another motion, the rules of council allow it. We are quite happy with our mayor, the leadership is quite alright and I think we are making progress as a multiparty government,” he said. DM

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  • Roelf Pretorius says:

    Whether we, or the ANC and EFF, likes it or not, coalition politics are here to stay and those who don’t like it will have to get accustomed to it. The only thing that is still needed is more experience in how to manage internal party affairs and how parties manage their councillors’ loyalty. I still feel that more emphasis has to be given to how reliable candidates are before the selection process in the run-up to elections, because that is where the real problem lies. And councillors should not be silenced when they voice concerns or grievances, but be allowed to give their inputs freely in internal party politics. In turn they then are required to strictly adhere to party discipline. In this sense it is of the utmost importance to keep the verdict of the ConCourt regarding what public representatives should consider first, party or what they believe the people or supporters of the party wants. So if a councillor is not convinced that the party line serves the people’s interest, they should be allowed to make inputs, especially about what the coalitions’ position must be in light of the priorities of the other political parties. Sometimes party leaders tend to be arrogant, and with coalitions, this has to end. Fact is, the way the public voted in the last election indicates that the voters want a coalition – as a collective they don’t trust any single political party to lead. And their wishes are the one’s that count in a democracy.

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