Gauteng Cooperative Governance MEC Lebogang Maile has emphasised that the decision to rescind the suspension of two DA councillors is not retreating or an admission of wrongdoing, but an opportunity to strengthen his department’s case.

On Monday, Maile raised eyebrows when he lifted the suspension of  former City of Johannesburg speaker Vasco da Gama and that of Tshwane’s Katlego Mathebe.

He had accused the duo of breaching the code of conduct for councillors.

“If it was wrong to charge them we would’ve told you we apologise, it’s wrong, we withdraw. We would not have hesitated, but we are confident that we are correct.”

The Gauteng COGTA MEC says the councillors’ cases will now be investigated in the Tshwane and Johannesburg councils.

He’s given councillors a week to revert to him on the outcomes of both probes.

Speaking during a media briefing in Sandton, Maile refuted DA’s claims that had violated the Constitution. He also confirmed that the party has withdrawn its legal action against him.

“There is nowhere that it says the MEC can’t take a decision without the council being referred to. The letter that was written to us by the DA was quoting two case laws. We did not see those case laws, we never had sight of them. That is why we sought legal counsel. The law is clear what the MEC can do. These two people, through their actions in the last two months, have clearly demonstrated disregard for the law and acted in a partisan manner.”

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