Chaos before Mogale City revolution

The Centenary Hall during the Adjustment Budget meeting. Photo: Submitted

Mogale City Municipality had its fifth annual special council meeting on Tuesday, 28 February and the ordeal played off almost exactly like the State of the Nation Address (Sona) did a few weeks prior. The meeting was called in order to discussed the Adjustment Budget.

As soon as Patric Lipudi, Speaker of the Chamber started with the first item on the agenda, the multi-party (Democratic Alliance (DA)/ Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)/ Freedom Front Plus (FF+) coalition was up in arms, trying to inform him that his rules were illegal.

On a point of order, a DA member addressed Lipudi, saying that his Standing Rules were illegal and that the council cannot proceed with the meeting because of these so-called illegal rules.

The rules were implemented by the previous African National Congress (ANC) mayor and gave the Speaker more power than the mayor himself.

Lipudi dismissed the claims, saying that the point the DA member had made was not a point of order, and proceeded with the agenda. The EFF members of council jumped up and threw their hands in the air saying that Lipudi cannot make rulings based on these rules, precisely because they were illegal.

The coalition members continued to oppose the rulings made by Lipudi and disrupted the meeting to such an extent that Lipudi had to adjourn it. The Centenary Hall sounded just like the chambers of Parliament as council members prevented the Speaker from continuing with items on the agenda, yelling statements such as: “You are not the law” and “You are breaking the law”.

The EFF threatened the Speaker and said that they were “not afraid of removing you [the Speaker] physically”.

“You will not be a stumbling block for service delivery or the functioning of the municipality,” said an EFF member. Members of the public in the hall gallery yelled remarks at the Speaker as the EFF fought against him. “It is obvious that you have provoked the public as well,” another member pointed out.

The meeting was adjourned and none of the items were resolved as they should have been.

The News interviewed members of the public after the council meeting. They were less than thrilled by the behaviour of both the governing coalition and the ANC.

“We have noted that there is no harmony in the municipality,” said Joseph Motaung, a leader from the Pangoville informal settlement. “If this behaviour is to continue, I’m afraid that in my lifetime, I will not get a house, nor will the gentlemen standing next to me.”

Joseph said his primary concern was that the Speaker, as they had observed, was “absolutely partial”, making decisions in favour of the ANC.

George Raliphi, chairperson of the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) also said that his members were furious with the lack of service delivery and the continuous fighting in the council chambers.

“When is it going to end?” George asked. “We voted them into power and now they aren’t improving our lives. Instead they sit in their expensive suits and yell at each other. We have no interest in their petty squabbles, we just want our service delivery back.”

Tell us what you think about the behaviour of the councillors and Speaker by leaving your comment below.

Do you perhaps have more information pertaining to this story? Email us at krugersdorpnews@caxton.co.za or phone us on 011 955 1130.

For free daily local news on the West Rand, also visit our sister websites: 

Randfontein HeraldRoodepoort RecordGet It Joburg West Magazine

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  AUTHOR
Bianca Pindral
Journalist

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