Ekurhuleni mayor likely next for the chop as ANC and EFF persist with DA leadership purge from Gauteng coalitions
The future of Tania Campbell hangs in the balance after a successful motion of no confidence against the Speaker of Council — DA’s Raymond Dhlamini — as well as the resignation of the whip of the council, the DA’s Khetha Shandu and oversight Chairperson, Pieter Henning. The Ekurhuleni ructions follow upheaval in another Gauteng metro, with the ousting of Joburg Mayor, the DA's Mpho Phalatse.
A council sitting on Thursday night, which had been adjourned from last week, saw the removal of City of Ekurhuleni Speaker Raymond Dhlamini of the DA. Meanwhile, council whip Khetha Shandu is reported to have resigned from his position on Wednesday ahead of the sitting.
The removal of Dlamini and the resignation of Shandu follow the tabling of a motion of no confidence against the two by minority parties in the Ekurhuleni council which were scheduled to be heard in last Thursday’s sitting. However, the sitting collapsed after minority political parties fought inside council chambers in Germiston.
Dhlamini adjourned the meeting until Thursday 2 February, 2023.
On Friday last week, Ekurhuleni City Manager Dr Imogen Mashazi wrote to councillors and requested to convene a special council meeting on Monday 30 January 2023.
In response, the DA and Ekurhuleni council speaker Dhlamini filed an urgent application at the Gauteng high court in Johannesburg seeking to halt the meeting.
In an affidavit submitted to the court, the DA and Dhlamini argued the meeting arranged by Mashazi was illegal, that she had no basis for calling it and that the Municipal Structures Act governed the speaker to convene council sittings rather than the city manager.
However, according to Phakamile Mbengashe, the divisional head of communications and media relations for the City of Ekurhuleni;
“In requesting the sitting, the City Manager was acting in the best interest of the municipality having considered the request of the majority of Councillors in terms of section 29(1A) of the Municipal Structures Act (2021 amendment). It was also in considering there was no response by the speaker by the time the City Manager made her decision, City Manager complied fully with the legislative provisions and request of the majority of Council.”
Dhlamini successfully interdicted the meeting which was meant to discuss a motion of no confidence against him.
But on Thursday the council meeting reconvened to continue with the agenda to table the motions of no confidence against Dhlamini. Before the meeting could get into the motions Dhlamini collapsed the extraordinary meeting and left the chambers followed by the FF+, IFP, DA, ACDP and ActionSA.
The remaining councillors and ActionSA have insisted Dhlamini’s actions throughout the prior meetings have been an attempt at blocking a motion of no confidence in himself and council whip, Khetha Shandu.
Mashazi took over as the speaker and presided over the continuation of the meeting with the remaining parties, which saw the ousting of Dhlamini and the voting in of EFF’s Nthabiseng Tshivhenga as interim speaker.
Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations
The resigned whip of the council was been replaced with ANC’s Jongizizwe Dlabathi.
— Mbalenhle Mthethwa (@MbalikaMthethwa) February 2, 2023
It is reported that another DA councillor, Oversight Chairperson Pieter Henning, resigned from his position.
Motion of no confidence in the City of Ekurhuleni Mayor looming
In an interview with SABC news, Tshivhenga said a motion of no confidence without notice has been agreed upon and tabled by the council against the Executive Mayor and is to be dealt with in the next seven days.
This will not be the first time Campbell has faced motion of no confidence. In October 2022, a motion was passed but then the ANC-EFF partnership failed which led to the re-election of Mayor Tania Campbell.
This time around the ANC and EFF are expected to vote together to relax a standing order which limits the number of no-confidence motions within a set period.
“Council itself unanimously requested that we reconvene an extraordinary council meeting so that we are able to deal with those emotions before we deal with the actually scheduled council agenda, which is very important and includes a lot of issues,” said Tshivhenga.
In response to the developments in the City of Ekurhuleni, ActionSA Gauteng Provincial Chairperson, Bongani Baloyi had this to say:
“The resignation of Henning and Shandu further strengthens ActionSA’s belief that the DA-led coalition government has failed to address the decline in service delivery in Ekurhuleni. We, therefore, ask that Executive Mayor, Tania Campbell, and her Mayoral Committee accept their failure and resign in favour of better leadership within that multi-party coalition.”
Baloyi was speaking on the backdrop of ActionSA having ditched the Ekurhuleni coalition government in November last year due to concerns about Mayor Campbell and her executive’s inability to improve service delivery.
Read in Daily Maverick: “‘Disingenuous and opportunistic’ — DA’s Tania Campbell hits back after ActionSA’s withdrawal in Ekurhuleni”
ActionSA’s withdrawal from the coalition left the Ekurhuleni-hung municipality in the hands of six parties including the DA, Freedom Front Plus, Inkatha Freedom Party, African Christian Democratic Party, Congress of the People, and Patriotic Alliance.
The recent developments in the City of Ekurhuleni municipality come a week after the ousting of Johannesburg Mayor Dr Mpho Phalatse. This has prompted an ongoing debate about the fragility of coalitions in Gauteng.
In an article published in Daily Maverick, Rebecca Davis argues that a lack of laws governing the South African coalitions is a major contributor to the coalition mess.
Meanwhile, Dhlamini told eNCA that he intends to challenge his ousting in court. DM