katlego mathebe tshwane

Photo: Katlego Mathebe / TW

Gauteng Cogta: Katlego Mathebe, Vasco da Gama suspended without pay

The DA has informed its lawyers to take the matter to court for urgent review.

katlego mathebe tshwane

Photo: Katlego Mathebe / TW

In a shocking move, Gauteng Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Lebogang Maile has confirmed that Tshwane council speaker Katlego Mathebe and her predecessor, Vasco da Gama, have been suspended without pay.

Why Katlego Mathebe, Vasco da Gama are suspended

Maile, in a media conference, revealed that the two Democratic Alliance (DA) affiliates were found guilty of breaching the councillors code of conduct.

According to the Municipal Systems Act, councillors must:

  • Perform the functions of office in good faith, honestly and a transparent manner; and
  • At all times act in the best interest of the municipality and in such a way that the credibility and integrity of the municipality are not compromised.

In the media briefing, Maile confirmed that Da Gama, “a constitutional delinquent”, was suspended for three months without pay for his decision to postpone the 2019 vote for a new Johannesburg mayor.

“This sanction has been used to send a strong message that nobody should ever play politics to the detriment of our residents,” Maile said.

Mathebe will also serve six months in suspension without pay for apparently placing “her personal interests to remain the speaker by any means necessary, above the needs of residents”.

DA to take legal action against Maile

Reacting to the news, DA leader John Steenhuisen issued a statement noting that the party was prepared to take Maile to court for using bullying tactics.

“We have instructed our lawyers to approach the courts on an urgent basis to review this illegal move. We have also written to the MEC to invite him to retract his unlawful decision, failing which we will apply for a personal and punitive cost order against Maile,” Steenhuisen charged.

He claimed that Maile’s unlawful ruling was indicative of the African National Congress’s (ANC) self-serving nature.

“When former Emfuleni mayor Simon Mofokeng was accused of spending more than R1.7 million of public money on KFC, Nando’s and hotels he was not fired or suspended for misconduct. Moreover, the former mayor of eThekwini Zandile Gumede who has been implicated in fraud and corruption was also not removed from office or suspended under clause 14(6). There are many such instances, including the new mayor of Johannesburg, Geoff Makhubo,” Steenhuisen added.

This, the DA leader claimed, was proof that the ANC uses selective application of the law only when it applies to members of the DA.

“They care not for residents, but rather for their own narrow interest to attain power at all costs,” he said.