With the help of the Economic Freedom Fighters, a motion of no confidence against City of Johannesburg executive mayor, Herman Mashaba, and council speaker, Vasco da Gama, failed on Thursday night.
During Da Gama’s motion, which was heard at around 19:00, there were 140 councillors who voted against the motion and 120 that voted in favour of the motion.
In Mashaba’s case, 140 councillors voted against the motion and 121 voted in favour of the motion.
Keeping in line with the decision taken at the Nelson Mandela Bay council meeting, the Economic Freedom Fighters voted with the Democratic Alliance.
Proceedings at the 16th ordinary council meeting at the City of Johannesburg Council’s new council chambers, began with a DA march with supporters protesting outside the chambers against the removal of Mashaba and Da Gama.
After addressing the crowd, DA leader Mmusi Maimane entered the chambers, briefly listening to various matters being discussed, which included tabled reports on finance, housing, community development and transport, among others.
Councillors were clearly excited to hear the motions as they referred to the earlier proceedings as “the curtain raiser because the main event was later”.
Da Gama motion
When Da Gama’s motion was eventually tabled, he excused himself as the speaker and the proceedings continued under a presiding speaker.
ANC councillor Jolidee Matongo was first to debate the motion.
Matongo accused Da Gama and the executive of withdrawing some crucial reports and said the speaker had favourites in the chambers.
The ANC’s Sello Lemao said, “We have seen councillors being suppressed willy-nilly without the application of the rule book.”
Lemao also pointed out that Da Gama rarely allowed councillors to speak in their mother tongues.
The DA’s Thami Mabhena slammed the ANC’s accusations, saying Da Gama had executed his duties with excellence, fairness and in a balanced fashion.
Both the African Independent Congress and Patriotic Alliance said they would vote in favour of the motion while the EFF’s Silumko Mabona said the party intended voting against the motion.
When the announcement was made that the motion had failed, some ANC councillors objected and demanded that officials conduct a head count of councillors in favour and against.
After counting, it was confirmed and Da Gama took back his seat in the chambers – much to the ANC’s disappointment.
ANC councillors sang an Oliver Tambo struggle song called “Oliver Tambo bamba isandla sami (loosely meaning Oliver Tambo, hold my hand),” while clapping and dancing.
Mashaba appeared nervous when the motion of no confidence against him was tabled.
Again, members debated stating reasons why Mashaba deserved to be the mayor and why he was not fit to serve Johannesburg residents.
ANC councillor Geoffrey Makhubo said it was the aggregation of the people’s power, through the coalition, that had plunged the city into a financial crisis.
“Councillor Mashaba is not up to the task, he is way out of his depth,” Makhubo told the packed chamber.
He added that the City of Johannesburg needed “a mayor, not a successful businessman”.
Another ANC councillor Isaac Tolo accused Mashaba for wasting taxpayers’ monies by conducting endless investigations.
DA’s councillor Funzela Ngobeni said the ANC should practice being the opposition party because that is what it should expect to happen in 2019.
“Judging by their pettiness, the road ahead is going to be long and windy,” he said.
“We are unearthing this corruption on a daily basis. This corruption we are unearthing will talk directly to councillor Parks Tau… A lot is coming, they must not rush the war, we are coming,” he said.
EFF’s councillor Musa Novela questioned the genuineness of the motion.
“The EFF is going to vote against this motion but not vote in favour of Herman Mashaba. We are voting against corruption,” said Novela.
Again, the AIC and PA expressed their disappointment in Mashaba and his administration and said they would vote in favour of the motion.
Once the motion was concluded, councillors voted, counting was done and Mashaba could breathe a sigh of relief.
Proceedings continues after the motions were debated.[Source: News24]