The Democratic Alliance (DA) in JB Marks Local Municipality wrote to the Speaker, Kgosiemang Elias Mogoemang, demanding an action plan to address the lack of service delivery and ensure accountability for the continued gross mismanagement of the municipality.
The DA will no longer participate in Council meetings as the ANC continues to demonstrate blatant contempt for municipal Council and abuses their power to stream roll through poorly drafted and incomplete reports.
It is clear that the Speaker is only interested in shielding certain ANC individuals from accountability by removing formal questions raised to the executive from the agenda.
The Speaker elected to hold a special Council meeting to discuss the adjustment budget but excluded other critical issues of service delivery from the agenda.
This is a deliberate attempt to circumvent the DA’s motion of no confidence in the Executive Mayor, Kgotso Khumalo, and under the Code of Conduct for Councillors, the Speaker should have precluded himself from convening any meeting where the motion was to be tabled.
Last year on 3 July 2020, the JB Marks Municipality budget was unanimously conditionally and provisionally approved by the Council. A meeting scheduled today seeks to approve an adjustment budget without the previous conditions Councillors put forward met, neither has Council reviewed nor rescinded the resolution adopted last year.
That the Executive now seeks to approve a budget outside of a Council resolution is illegal. Only a new Council decision or an application in court to set the resolution adopted aside can allow for the tabling and adoption of the adjustment budget as proposed today. This again shows the complete disregard for the work of Council.
The Speaker’s conduct and refusal to call a special Council meeting since December 2020 shows a clear conflict of interest and his attempts to shield certain individuals from accountability.
Many senior officials, political office bearers and councillors have been implicated and are currently facing criminal and disciplinary charges for violating municipal by-laws and the applicable land use legislation by encouraging illegal land invasions. All this was done under the Speaker’s watch, however, not a single person has been held accountable under the Code of Conduct for Councillors by the Speaker, who acts as custodian of the Code.
Following the outcomes of a Special Investigating Unit (SIU) the Municipal Manager and Chief Financial Officer who are directly accountable to Council were suspended yet the Speaker failed to call a meeting to inform Council of the allegations that gave cause to their suspension.
He called for a Council meeting in December 2020 and then along with the Accounting Officer masqueraded and alleged uncertainty about the mandate of Council to take decisions in the face of section 139(1)(b) Provincial intervention into the affairs of JB Marks Municipality.
A meeting was to be convened within 7-days after clarity was sought from the MEC. The meeting was never convened and in violation of Council resolution, the Speaker decided not to convene any further meetings.
The JB Marks Council is being abused for ANC factional political games to frustrate accountability whilst our city is faced with unprecedented service delivery failures.
The DA will only participate in the Special Council meeting on the condition that the critical issues we have raised will be addressed as a matter of extreme urgency.
Issued by The DA