By Masilo Malakwane
QWA QWA – Opposition parties walked out of the Maluti a Phofung local municipality council sitting on Monday this week, after ANC and ACM councilors demand that Speaker Paratlane Motloung should convene a council meeting to debate a motion of no-confidence against himself, Executive Mayor, Gilbert Tjhopo Mokotso and Chief Whip, Moeketsi Lebesa.
The ANC and ACM councillors argued that the Speaker was supposed to be guided by standing rules and orders governing the council, which state the council should not debate other matters before considering the proposed debate of motion of no- confidence that was tabled more than 14 days ago.
Councillor Mandlenkosi Dlamini led the ANC out of the meeting.
Speaking with The Guard, Dlamini said they took the initiative to formally express their lack of confidence in the council Troika but nothing seemed to be happening.
“We also did not accept the fact that the council meeting should proceed with the business of the day while it continues to stall the motion of no-confidence debate,” said Dlamini.
ACM council leader, Tumelo Thulo said his party will not recognize a council sitting that is deliberately ignoring the standing rules and orders, lashing out that “the Council does not have the authority to overlook its pessimistic actions regarding this matter,” said Thulo.
Meanwhile, Council Whip Moeketsi Lebesa slammed the ANC councillors’ actions, claiming they are still licking their wounds with bitterness after losing power in MAP for the first time in 27 years.
He said both ANC and ACM misinterpreted the law before they staged a walkout. “Council rules and orders state that the process of debating a motion of no-confidence, may be reviewed after 14 days. And I was also really surprised and shocked to hear them saying they have no confidence in me. They have made that clear from the beginning” said Lebesa.
However, the EFF has surprised many when they stayed behind during the walkout incident. The party’s leader Chicota Mkhwanazi stated they will not abandon a council meeting that is going to debate the most important budget adjustments, insisting the community needs service delivery more than their political warfare.
Despite the opposition parties’ attempt to collapse the council, Paratlane Motloung said the turnout after the ANC and ACM left the meeting, was about 51% which was required for council to convene. It accordingly managed to continue.