The African National Congress in the City of Johannesburg is going to the High Court to force council to hear a motion of no confidence aimed at unseating mayor Herman Mashaba and speaker Vasco Da Gama.
In court papers filed by the ANC on Friday‚ the party said its motion submitted to the programming committee was in compliance with the Standing Rules of Council.
“The speaker is therefore obliged to place these motions on the council agenda for debate and adoption by council in its upcoming council meeting. The motions are in compliance with rule 94 as they were submitted to the secretary of council for placing on the council agenda 14 days prior to the upcoming council meeting‚” the ANC said in court papers.
The ANC wants the court to:
-declare the refusal of the speaker to table the motion of no confidence unlawful‚ unconstitutional‚ and therefore null and void;
-set aside the decision of the speaker and the programming committee to refuse to place the motion on the council agenda;
-order the speaker and the programming committee to place the matter on the agenda of the council meeting of September 27;
-declare invalid the decision of the programming committee that Da Gama does not have the power to prescribe that the vote of no confidence be conducted by a secret ballot;
-set aside the speaker and programming committee decision made on September 12‚ which said the election of the new speaker and new executive mayor cannot be conducted immediately after the motions of no confidence.
-order that the speaker is directed to exercise his discretion during the council sitting on September 27 on whether the motions should be by secret ballot or a show of hands;
-order that any of the respondents who oppose the application bear the cost jointly and severally.
Last week‚ there were conflicting reports from the DA and the ANC on what actually happened during a programming committee meeting.
The DA issued a statement in which it said the ANC had withdrawn its motions against Mashaba and Da Gama.
But the ANC refuted the claims‚ saying it was going ahead with both motions.
In its statement‚ the DA argued that the current motions should not be confused with the one used in parliament against President Jacob Zuma.
“It must be understood that the Rules of Council in the City of Johannesburg make no provision for a secret ballot and require that votes are conducted in the open. Our Rules also do not afford the Speaker the authority to call for a secret ballot‚” the City’s statement read.
It added: “This stands in stark contrast to the rules of the National Assembly‚ cited in the recent Constitutional Court judgment‚ UDM v Speaker of the National Assembly and others‚ which do make provision for the Speaker to make such a determination.”