The first meeting at the hung Modimolle-Mookgophong Local Municipality in Limpopo collapsed. This as the meeting failed to form a quorum at its first sitting on Friday.
The council meeting collapsed after African National Congress (ANC) councillors failed to attend. The other parties in the council, the Democratic Alliance (DA), Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and Freedom Front Plus (FFPlus) have a combined 14 councillors.
The 14 councillors from the EFF, DA, and the Freedom Front Plus were sworn in. The council, however, failed to elect a new mayor, speaker, and chief whip as it did not form a quorum without the ANC councillors.
The meeting has been postponed to Monday. Acting Municipal Manager, Sheppard Mhlanga says the council needs 15 councillors to form a quorum.
“I would like to request the secretariat to verify the number of councillors present here. We have 28 councillors in total we should have at least 15 councillors for us to proceed in a matter where a decision has to be taken by the council. We are unable to proceed with matters of consideration for discussion as we do not have a quorum.”
EFF provincial chairperson, Jossy Buthane says the fact that ANC councillors did not show up to the council meeting is an indication that they have accepted defeat.
“Who would have ever thought at some point the ANC will be on the streets, the people of Modimolle deliberately punished the ANC and we are happy for that, the fact that they did not pitch today is an indication that they have accepted the defeat.”
DA head of campaign in Limpopo, Desiree van der Walt says the law allows them to constitute a council meeting next Monday.
“If you play this part of the political game because your party is still figuring out which faction they must produce for mayoral, speaker, or chief whip, it is very bad political leadership. They can keep on trying but the law is on our side then we will get the law applicable.”
Meanwhile, the spokesperson of the ANC in the Waterberg region, Matome Moremi-Tauatsoala says ANC councillors did not attend council meeting because they are still waiting to get a mandate from the party’s national leadership.
The Modimolle-Mookgophong Local Municipality was previously governed by the coalition of the DA, EFF, and FFPlis after the 2016 municipal elections. The other hung municipality in Limpopo, the Thabazimbi Local Municipality will hold its inaugural council meeting next Tuesday.
There have been challenges in coalition talks in hung municipalities: