Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and African National Congress (ANC) councillors in Tshwane were no-show at Wednesday's special council meeting, which was a continuation of the previous collapsed sittings.
ANC Tshwane regional chairperson, Kgosi Maepa, said his party's councillors did not attend the council meeting after party leaders reached a deadlock at a programming meeting on Tuesday.
“The speaker also wanted to preside over a meeting that is calling a motion of no confidence against her and determine the agenda of the same meeting, a clear conflict of interest. The DA speaker continues to disallow democratic dispensation, debating, voting and fairness in Tshwane. She is arrogant, biased and a pure constitutional delinquent,” said Maepa.
He went on to accuse the DA speaker, Katlego Mathebe, of being "law unto herself".
"It is clear to the ANC and other parties in council that she will do everything to stop democracy in the city. The DA is undemocratic. As a result of her conduct the ANC and other parties took a sober decision to no longer participate in unconstitutional meetings of the speaker that are characterized by a clear conflict of interest,” Maepa said.
On 13 January both ANC and EFF walked out of a special council meeting following a failed attempt to have the sequence of the motion of no confidence against four DA council leaders changed. The two parties wanted the motion of no confidence against Mathebe to be tabled first.
Maepa attended the meeting, but there were only 91 councillors in council chambers, predominantly from the DA, and they failed to reach a quorum. The meeting collapsed yet again on Wednesday morning.
Speaker Katlego Mathebe explained the process of the postponement of the special council meeting.
“In terms of the rules and orders if we postpone a meeting in terms of rule 53, we have to call a continuation meeting and in terms of the rules and orders by law there is no provisions that say you can only call a continuation meeting so many times, then you have to stop calling it. I will have to call this continuation of the meeting until it finally sits or until the items are withdrawn,” said Mathebe.
Outgoing Tshwane Mayor, Stevens Mokgalapa, also took an opportunity to apologize to the DA for “bringing the party into disrepute”.
“I would like to tender my utmost apology to my colleagues in the DA for the comments I made that were recorded last year. I regret my actions and apologize for the hurt and damage to the individuals and ultimately bringing the party into disrepute. I also retract the comments I made at the time,” said Mokgalapa.
The EFF and the ANC called for a special council meeting to table a motion of no confidence against Mokgalapa, acting speaker Zweli Khumalo and speaker Katlego Mathebe.