ActionSA caucus in Johannesburg has called for an extraordinary council sitting to elect a new speaker following the axing of its only councillor and City Council Speaker Colleen Makhubele on Monday.
“As we welcome the decision by COPE, we strongly believe that this brings us one step closer to restoring order to the City of Johannesburg for its residents,” said ActionSA’s caucus leader Nobuhle Mthembu.
Makhubele was dismissed following her declaration that Cope had joined a new coalition group called the South African Rainbow Alliance (SARA) without prior approval from the party leadership structures.
The former City Council Speaker’s dismissal follows a series of leadership changes within the metro, with last week’s Johannesburg High Court declaration that the appointment of city manager Floyd Brink was procedurally inconsistent with the law.
Mthembu further demanded an extraordinary council in order to elect a new speaker and said that the council needs to ‘close the Colleen chapter’ as the metro could not afford to proceed without a council speaker.
COPE President Mosiuoa Lekota confirmed Makhubele’s dismissal and said she and runner up for Tshwane Mayor Ofentse Moalusi, contravened the party’s constitution when they acted before the party could take a final decision on the matter.
“We were surprised to learn over the weekend through social media that the pair have already started campaigning for an alliance and have positioned themselves as the president and chairperson of that alliance,” Lekota said.
The next city councillor is expected to be elected from among the councillors with the municipal manager presiding, however considering the appointment of the manager is being legally brought into question, it remains unconfirmed whether the MEC for Local Government and Housing will preside over the election.