South Africa: Speaker Sacked!

Political parties in the City of Johannesburg are jostling for the lucrative position of council speaker after the Congress of the People expelled Colleen Makhubela as its councillor.

The ANC’s main ally, the EFF, has already announced it will support anyone except for the ANC and the DA for the vacant seat.

The EFF helped the ANC unseat DA mayor Dr Mpho Phalatse but the two could not agree on which party should take over the mayorship of the R80 billion city.

Their standoff resulted in Al Jama-ah, a party that won just 0.9% of the vote, taking the mayorship and Cope, another 1% party, occupying the position of speaker of the council.

The vacant position is not only powerful in commanding council meetings; it has also become highly rewarding for the incumbent, with the newly revised salary now topping R1.214 million.

Cope president Mosiuoa Lekota said Makhubela joined the South African Rainbow Alliance party and was campaigning for it without approval.

The party also said it had terminated the membership of another councillor from Tshwane, Ofentse Moalusi.

“We were aware of smaller parties coming together to perhaps form an alliance or a coalition that would campaign in next year’s elections. However, no final decision was made on the above.

“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,” said Lekota.

EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu said they will not support any candidate from the ANC and the DA.

The party is the main power broker in the city and has previously threatened to strip the ANC of its power in Johannesburg.

It was the EFF’s decision to leave its informal arrangement with the DA that led to Phalatse losing the mayoral chains.

Previously when the ANC proposed that its Johannesburg regional chairperson Dada Morero be elected as executive mayor, the EFF threatened to pull out of the agreement, resulting in minority party Al Jama-ah taking over.

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