Pretoria – Hours before facing a calamitous motion of no confidence in the Johannesburg council, mayor Mpho Phalatse has vowed that she will not resign, despite loud calls for her removal during a special sitting set for today.
Newly-elected council speaker Colleen Makhubele has moved to hold the special sitting today to deliberate on a motion of no confidence against Phalatse.
The embattled mayor of South Africa’s economic hub vowed to fight till the end.
“I would like to start by thanking you for your prayers and messages of support for me and the multiparty government, which despite the political events of the last month have still been hard at work in order to ensure that the repair and rebuild of the city continues. Over the last few days, there have been calls for my resignation, pending the tabling of a motion of confidence in me, and by extension the entire executive of the city,” said Phalatse.
“I will not be resigning and I, along with the 10 members of the mayoral committee, intend on completing our electoral term of office so that we can build this beautiful city, across its seven regions, and call it a city of golden opportunities, where all residents feel that they are part of a beautifully diverse community.”
Addressing the residents of Joburg in her statement, Phalatse said the population would feel the knock-on effect if the ANC-led coalition featuring parties including the EFF, UDM and AIC got its way and toppled her.
“This is not about me or political parties, this is about you, the 6 million residents of the city, who will ultimately suffer should this multiparty government be dissolved through a motion of confidence in the executive mayor. As we speak, there are nefarious actors working to urgently convene a meeting of council to dissolve the multiparty government and subsequently elect what can best be described as a corrupt cabal that will masquerade as a government,” said Phalatse in the strongly worded statement.
“Their only focus will be to empty the city’s coffers, stop service delivery and collapse the city. While we accept the democratic outcome of the election of a new speaker of council and respect the office of the speaker, what we will not allow is for that office to be used as a vehicle to drive a political agenda that will ultimately collapse the city.
“This is your city; this is your multiparty government. It is not some project created for the benefit of immoral and unethical players. Residents of Joburg, we have seen and live daily with the destruction of state capture. The agenda of the political hyenas is to capture and collapse the city. You and I cannot allow this to happen,” she said.
This week, opposition parties successfully installed outspoken Cope councillor Makhubele as the new speaker, with the help of the Patriotic Alliance, which ditched the DA-led coalition.
Earlier this month, the ANC’s regional chairperson in Joburg, Dada Morero, denied allegations that the party had bribed members of the city council to support its motion of no confidence which claimed the scalp of then council speaker Vasco da Gama.
Da Gama was voted out of the city council last month. The DA, joined by other opposition parties, laid charges of attempted bribery against the ANC for allegedly bribing council members to vote for the ousting of the speaker.
DA leader Solly Msimang alleged that brown envelopes circulated at the basement of the city council chambers ahead of the 7th ordinary sitting that saw the removal of Da Gama as the speaker.