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Political instability plaguing Joburg leaves city without a manager and council speaker

todayNovember 14, 2023 136 1

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Political analyst, Levy Ndou, says the axing of COPE councillor, Colleen Makhubele, signals the continuation of political instability in the City of Johannesburg.

Ndou says the residents of the city will continue to bear the brunt of the ongoing mayhem.

The economic powerhouse of South Africa has been in limbo over the past few months, with the chopping and changing of mayors and council speakers.

Recently appointed city manager, Floyd Brink’s future now also hangs in the balance after the High Court in Johannesburg found that his appointment was unlawful.

Brink was appointed in February this year under the administration of former Mayor, Thapelo Amad.

Now Makhubele has been sacked by her political home after she raised her hand to be the president of a new coalition pact, the South African Rainbow Alliance (SARA).

Makhubele, who was COPE’s only councillor sitting in the local assembly, is accused of violating the party’s constitution by taking up the presidential position without the party’s approval.

The new movement is believed to have been founded by several political leaders and churches.

Another COPE councillor in the City of Tshwane, Ofentse Moalusi, was expelled after signing up for the same coalition pact.

Cope leader, Mosioua Lekota, says Makhubele’s replacement will be announced soon.

ActionSA says COPE’s decision to fire Makhubele is a step closer to restoring order in the City of Johannesburg.

The party’s Joburg Caucus leader, Nobuhle Mthembu, says a new speaker is needed urgently in a bid to close the ‘Colleen Makhubele’ chapter.

“Makhubele will be remembered for her misapprehension of the Council Standing Rules. Her misinterpretation of Council Standing Rules has cost the City of Johannesburg fortunes.

“This same Speaker presided over the unlawful removal of the former Mayor of the City of Johannesburg, ” adds Mthembu.

She says the city cannot afford to go one day more without the Speaker.

On the other hand, the DA believes that Makhubele’s move to SARA is an attempt to evade accountability for her actions.

DA’s caucus leader in Johannesburg, Belinda Kayser- Echeozonjoku, says the council chamber turned into a circus with Makhubele at the helm.

“Her departure from COPE and Council is a symptom of a disease that only has one cure, that is the dissolution of Johannesburg’s Council.”

Kayser-Echeozonjoku maintains that the residents of Johannesburg deserve a council that is transparent, accountable, and fully committed to delivering quality services.

“Therefore, we call for new elections, providing the people of Johannesburg the opportunity to rescue their city and set a new course for its future.”

Makhubele’s removal has once again put the party led by Lekota under the spotlight.

The party, which hasn’t been coping for years now, has seen factional battles continue to destabilise the organisation.

Earlier this year, the political party was de-registered, as a company, by the Companies Intellectual Property Commission.

Political analyst, Levy Ndou, says if COPE does not get its house in order, a future without COPE is well on its way.

“Since its inception, COPE has never experienced any growth. It’s a party that started with very big numbers but as elections progressed we started seeing their numbers declining.

“All these issues can be attributed to infighting within the party and the lack of strategy on how to attract more members within its ranks.”

Written by: Lindiwe Mpanza

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