If the EFF votes with the ANC, Msimanga is likely to be axed, council numbers show
If the EFF decides to vote with the ANC in the upcoming motion of no confidence in Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga then, in terms of the numbers, the City will no longer be run by the DA.
The Tshwane council is expected to sit on Thursday where two motions of no confidence in Msimanga have been tabled - one by the ANC and the other by the EFF. The motion tabled first will be put to a vote in the event that it isn't withdrawn.
According to council numbers, which News24 received from a DA source, 203 out of the 214 seats are expected to be filled, which means there will be quorum and the motion can proceed.
The numbers, if the EFF votes alongside the ANC to remove Msimanga, greatly lean towards the DA going back to the official opposition benches in Tshwane.
According to the numbers, 82 of the 89 ANC councillors are expected to be present, 24 of the 25 EFF seats are expected to be occupied and all 93 DA councillors are expected to attend.
The Freedom Front Plus, with its four members, as well as one COPE member - are also expected to attend the sitting, according to the source. Both parties are still in a coalition.
If the EFF votes with the ANC, there are expected to be 106 votes in favour of the motion and 98 against.
According to political analyst Ebrahim Fakir, if there is a full sitting of the council and all members are present out of a total of 214, then 108 votes in support of the motion to remove Msimanga as mayor will be required.
"Otherwise, the requirement would be 50% plus one of the members present, provided the council sitting is quorate, which would require 108 councillors to be present in order for any decision to be valid. In the event of a tie, the speaker will have a casting vote," said Fakir.
During a press briefing on Tuesday, Msimanga conceded the possibility of defeat if the EFF chose to vote with the ANC.
However, he added that there were two motions of no confidence and that both parties would have to decide which motion they would vote for to successfully oust him.
He said the question would then lead to who would replace him as mayor. Would the ANC put up a candidate? Would the EFF put up a candidate? Would a third party have a candidate that could be elected as mayor.
If Msimanga is voted out, he will be the second DA mayor to be axed this week after the party's Athol Trollip was removed as mayor of the Nelson Mandela metro without a single DA councillor present in the chamber. He was replaced by the UDM's Mongameli Bobani.
Trollip's sacking meant that the ANC, EFF and UDM voted in favour of the motion of no confidence in him.
During a press conference at the EFF headquarters in Johannesburg on Tuesday, EFF leader Julius Malema warned the DA that what happened to Trollip would also happen to Msimanga.
News24 reported that the EFF did not have a replacement for Msimanga but that it would support anyone who brought a credible candidate.
In another press conference, held by the ANC in Tshwane on Tuesday, the party's newly-elected regional chairperson Kgosi Maepa said he was confident Msimanga would no longer be the mayor of Tshwane after the council sitting.
"We have lobbied sufficiently, and we are sure of outright majority, even people from the DA will be voting [with the ANC] on this motion," said Maepa.
Maepa added that the vote would take place by secret ballot.
He said the ANC would vote on the EFF motion if it came up first and that he would stand as a candidate for mayor if it was successful.
The ANC's decision to bring the motion of no confidence in Msimanga was partly because of a tender fraud scandal allegedly involving City manager Moeketsi Mosola and engineering consultancy firm GladAfrica. The R12bn tender was for the management of infrastructure projects.
The EFF previously said its motion related to Msimanga's disregard for consultation with other parties in the crucial running of the City. It also claimed it was related to Msimanga's allowing of "white racists, who are exposed for taking jobs without the necessary qualifications, to retaliate and punish the black City manager for exposing them".
The party inferred that Mosola, against whom Msimanga has asked the council to issue a notice of intention to suspend, was being punished for ousting former Tshwane chief of staff Marietha Aucamp, who did not have the proper qualifications for the position.
Msimanga said the motions of no confidence in him were inexplicable because his actions have shown that any allegations of wrongdoing or corruption have been taken seriously and were investigated.
"If the EFF chooses to collude with the ANC in the motion of no confidence, it will be a clear demonstration that they support and stand by corruption and wrongdoing," Msimanga said.
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