THIRD TIME LUCKY?
How the DA’s Cilliers Brink was elected as the City of Tshwane’s executive mayor
Chaos was the order of the day at the City of Tshwane’s special council sitting on Tuesday when the DA’s Cilliers Brink was voted in as the metro’s executive mayor.
This was the third time the Tshwane council had gathered to elect a leader. The other two attempts were marred by fighting among political parties.
The DA, along with ActionSA, the Freedom Front Plus, the African Christian Democratic Party and the Inkatha Freedom Party, have a coalition agreement. In a bid to strengthen its chances, the DA lobbied the Good party to also support Brink.
These parties had a cumulative 109 votes in favour of Brink’s appointment, while the ANC and its partners were only able to garner 102 votes for the Congress of the People’s Ofentse Moalusi, who was their candidate.
Three votes were lacking after two councillors did not participate, including one from the Republican Conference of Tshwane, while there was no one to cast the third vote due to the council having a vacancy in Ward 105.
After being elected, Brink promised to deal with concerns about the city’s finances.
The recent Auditor-General report exposed gross graft in the city. The report’s findings on the city’s finances for 2021/2022 revealed irregularities involving more than R10-billion. Financial statements were not disclosed for auditing and accountability.
“This is as important a task as responding to the concerns of the AG and restoring the financial controls that have systematically been broken down or have never existed. In the past three years, a number of factors have combined to have a devastating effect on the city’s financial position and the path of recovery on which we had embarked in the last decade,” Brink said.
[WATCH] I accept the role of Executive Mayor with deep gratitude and humility. Im also very encouraged by the confidence placed in me by our multi-party coalition. Let’s build a Capital City that works for all its people. @CityTshwane pic.twitter.com/rcskan9Cfo
— Mayor Cilliers Brink (@tshwane_mayor) March 28, 2023
But before they were able to vote in a new mayor, the ANC and EFF were firm that 69 DA councillors be held accountable for transgressing the Electoral Commission of South Africa’s voting guidelines.
At the last council sitting, the DA instructed its councillors to mark their ballots using a number that had been allocated to each councillor, in an attempt to ensure that all its members followed the party line.
At this point, they had nominated the PAC’s Molwantwa Tshabadi as their candidate and then requested a caucus break. However, when they resumed proceedings they decided to nominate Moalusi instead.
The coalition government which has been at the helm since the 2021 elections has a majority, but the ANC-EFF alliance has been adamant about changing the dynamics in the party.
The ANC had been in talks with ActionSA at one point. If they had reached an agreement, it would have seen ActionSA gain power in Tshwane. The ANC would then have been voted in to lead in the City of Johannesburg while the EFF would have governed Ekurhuleni. However, this did not materialise.
Read more in Daily Maverick: DA’s Cilliers Brink, Tshwane mayor-elect, preaches unity, assures residents that change is coming
Randall Williams was initially the executive mayor of the city, but resigned, saying that it was for the sake of the stability of the coalition government.
Then the embattled Murunwa Makwarela was voted in, but his tenure as the first citizen of Tshwane was short lived. He was at the centre of controversy after submitting a fake insolvency rehabilitation certificate in a bid to retain the mayorship after being backed by the ANC and EFF for the position.
He resigned and was then booted out by his party, Cope, while being heavily condemned by all political parties, even those which had backed him. DM