Tshwane Mayor, Stevens Mokgalapa, has applied for his special leave to be extended by 30 days. This after being ordered to return to work just days after being put on special leave.
Mokgalapa was expected to report for duty on Friday morning after councilors in the City of Tshwane put pressure on the Chief Whip, Christo van den Heever, to cancel the special leave on Thursday.
But he instead applied to his party the Democratic Alliance (DA) to have his leave extended, DA Gauteng leader, John Moodey confirmed to Newsnote.
The mayor had placed himself on leave after an audio recording in which he was sharing sensitive information with Member of the Mayoral Committee for roads and transport, Sheila Senkubuge, was leaked to the public last weekend.
An attempt to remove Mokgalapa through a motion of no confidence failed on Thursday, with the Speaker of the municipality, Katlego Rachel Mathebe, saying the motion lacked understanding of the role of the executive mayor.
The speaker said it is the collective responsibility of all councillors to ensure that the people of Hammanskraal have access to safe drinking water and that residents of Tshwane East don’t experience frequent power outages. This was part of the reasons Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and African National Congress (ANC) advanced for preferring a motion of no confidence in Mokgalapa.
“The speaker can disallow a motion or a proposal if in her opinion the motion or proposal advances argument, expresses opinion or contain unnecessary factual or incriminating, disparaging submission,” said Mathebe.
Mokgalapa’s image took a knock following the leaking of the recording, which in some parts seemed to suggest that the mayor was involved in an intimate session with Senkubuge in her office.
The Mayor and the DA announced that he was going on special leave pending investigations into the alleged sexual misconduct.
EFF and ANC have threatened to approach the court to have the motion of no confidence against Mokgalapa tabled in council.
EFF deputy president, Floyd Shivambu, had this to say to the media: “There is no legal basis because there are certain things that must be met before you dismiss a motion and none of those the speaker is complying with.
That is why we are saying she should comply with the rule book 100 percent. If she doesn’t do that we will have to explore our options, including going to court to get an urgent court order at her personal cost. So that we can have this council proceed, listen to this motion and vote out Mokgalapa.”
African National Congress regional chairperson, Kgosi Maepa, said his party’s motion met the legal requirements.
“I just want to put it on record [in council meeting] that African National Congress has sent a letter from our attorneys explaining what our motion is all about and the motion complies with all the rules,” Maepa said.