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City of Joburg chair of chairs suspended

The Congress of the People’s (Cope) interim provincial committee in Gauteng has suspended chair of chairs Colleen Makhubele with immediate effect, pending the outcome of the disciplinary hearing. This follows its meeting on 10 September, where it resolved to suspend Makhubele from all council duties and activities. “You may not represent the Congress of the…

People at any platform including doing media interviews and commenting on any public platform. You will be informed within 7 working days of the process of the disciplinary hearing,” said Cope in a letter signed by Mxolisi Ntobela, provincial interim committee co-ordinator.

However, Makhubele says she’s not going anywhere and has the support of the national leadership.

In an interview with Newzroom Afrika on Monday evening, Makhubele said it was unfortunate that Cope’s Dennis Bloem and “other factions” had reduced the party into a circus.

“I am not suspended, I am not barred from my duties. National leadership is in support of what I’m doing. This puts the party in a bad light. There is no provincial structure of Cope that sat to make that decision. We don’t know where Bloem got his mandate. The interim structure is not constitutional and not mandated to do anything. We’re run by the constitution of the party. We are all shocked by what he’s doing.”

Makhubele said she was considering legal options on the matter.

‘Makhubele not the acting speaker’

This comes a week after a failed bid to hold a special council meeting which was reportedly called to discuss plans to have Mayor Mpho Phalatse removed through a motion of no confidence, a few days after the removal of Democratic Alliance’s (DA) Vasco Da Gama as speaker through a motion of no confidence.

The High Court in Johannesburg last week granted the City of Joburg and the multi-party government an interdict preventing the special sitting of the council.

The judgment also found Makhubele was not the acting speaker.

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The City of Joburg and multi-party government had approached the High Court, arguing that Makhubele had no authority to convene any meeting of council.

The City argued that should the council meeting proceed, it would be unlawful and invalid.

In its judgment, the court said: “The notice convening the 8th Extra Ordinary Council meeting of the City of Joburg Municipality for 13 September 2022 at 10am issued by the respondent [Makhubele] is declared to be invalid, null and void. The meeting convened by the notice and scheduled for 13 September 2022 at 10am is interdicted from taking place.

“The respondent is interdicted from holding herself out as, or as purporting, to be exercising any of the statutory functions of the Acting Speaker of the First Applicant.”

The respondent was also ordered to pay the costs of the application.

© 2022, Thabo Mathobela. All rights reserved.

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