By Lungani Zungu
As the political wrangling over the battle for control of the City of Johannesburg continues, the DA’s mayor Mpho Phalatse will hold the reigns as mayor – for now.
A special council meeting that was scheduled for Thursday has been put on ice following the programming committee’s decision to withdraw it.
Council speaker Colleen Makhubele, Phalatse’s former ally-turned-enemy, said Phalatse’s celebrations would be short-lived as the ANC-led coalition would table another no confidence vote against her.
Makhubele, a member of Cope, accused Phalatse and the DA of dragging the courts into political battles.
Phalatse has vowed to fight for the mayoral chains. She had threatened legal action if the ANC-led coalition tabled the motion against her.
She made a stunning comeback as mayor last month after her 30 September removal through a motion of no-confidence was declared “unlawful, unconstitutional and invalid”.
Phalatse said the withdrawal of the motion of no confidence was not her individual victory, but a victory for the millions of Joburg residents.
Also at stake is the city’s whopping budget of R77 billion that Phalatse vowed to protect from what she called a “coalition of thugs”.
In a statement, she said: “The multi-party government will not allow the council to be run illegally or on the whims of individuals who seek to use the legislative arm of the city for wicked ends.”
Dada Morero of the ANC who served as Joburg mayor for only 25 days, is expected to hold a media conference on Wednesday about what he termed “shocking financial irregularities” he discovered in the city during his short stint as mayor.
This is another strong indication that the battle for the City of Joburg is far from over.
At this stage, the numbers are against the DA multi-party coalition after the EFF dumped the grouping in favour of the ANC-led coalition.
Ex-convict Gayton McKenzie’s Patriotic Alliance (PA) also jumped ship and also joined the ANC coalition.
How the coming days and weeks will work out for Phalatse remains to be seen, but it is clear she will not go down without a fight.
Pictured above: DA Joburg mayor Mpho Phalatse
Picture source: @mphophalatse1