The DA indicated that it will push ahead with a motion of no confidence in Matika at the next scheduled council meeting.
“This petty squabble, for instance, may cost ordinary residents dearly. It was clear that the feud between different factions of the ANC, led by the mayor and the Speaker, was to be brought to a decisive confrontation during the council meeting, but was averted by the Speaker adjourning the meeting even before it had started.”
Boshoff pointed out that what made the situation serious was the fact that yesterday was the second last day for the municipal budget to be approved within the limits set by the Municipal Financial Management Act.
“If today’s meeting also fails to reach a quorum, the ability to deliver services will be seriously compromised.”
Thulo indicated yesterday, however, that EFF members would not be attending today’s meeting.
“Every time we go to a council meeting, we have to listen to the battles of the ANC. They must sort it out.”
Thole added that if today’s meeting collapsed and the budget was not approved, the MEC would need to come on board.
“If the ANC doesn’t sort out its problems, the ones who will suffer will be the people. We do not want to see anarchy prevail in the city.”
Thole pointed out that there were several items in the budget that needed to be clarified before it could be passed.
“The ruling party and the administration need to account for what’s in this budget. One of the issues that must be raised it that of electricity, which is set to rise again.”
The DA meanwhile indicated that it will push ahead with a motion of no confidence in Matika at the next scheduled council meeting.
“Our councillors walked out of the council meeting in protest against his actions, which proved that he has become a law unto himself,” DA leader, Andrew Louw, said.
He added that the mayor had initially closed the public gallery yesterday in “a futile attempt to block members of the public and the media from attending the proceedings”.
“He is unwilling to account to the public and is scared that the people will hear the truth.”
Louw said DA councillors would use the motion of no confidence to rid the municipality of the mayor, who, Louw claimed, had failed to perform the functions of his office in good faith and who had failed to act in the best interests of the municipality.
“So bad is his political bias that he has publicly insinuated one needs to be a member of the ANC in order to receive good municipal services. Indeed, he has gone so far as to instruct officials not to deliver services in non-ANC wards.”
Louw added that the DA found it “absolutely unacceptable that such a political bully remain in power for one day longer”.
Ongoing tensions between Matika and Johnson have been evident for several months and came to a head this week when Johnson, together with the Frances Baard mayor, Buyiswa Ximba, were called in by the Frances Baard ANC REC and told to resign from their positions.
Both have apparently refused to do so and have requested that the reasons for their recall be put in writing.
As the Speaker, Johnson is the second highest paid councillor in the Sol Plaatje City Council after the executive mayor, and takes home an annual package of R821 556 (just under R70 000 a month).