by Cllr Reinette Liebenberg – DA Councillor: Sol Plaatje Municipality
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Date: 17 April 2018
The Democratic Alliance will report the Speaker of Sol Plaatje Municipality, Elizabeth Johnson, to the MEC of COGHSTA, Bentley Vass, following her failure to rule consistently in accordance with the Rules of Council.
The DA has grown wary of a budding trend by the Speaker to disregard the Agenda, allowing the Mayor, Mangaliso Matika, free range to introduce any matter in Council that he wishes. This in turn prevents the opposition from preparing for Council meetings, placing us on the back foot when the ANC chooses to throw surprise announcements our way.
A case in point occurred last Friday, when the ANC announced a reshuffle of portfolio committee members. While the DA was not opposed to the reshuffle per se, we are opposed to the manner in which it was sprung on us.
It’s unacceptable that the Mayor is permitted to steamroll any issue through but the opposition is not even granted an opportunity to raise a point of order, address basic disciplinary matters and debate matters of importance.
The DA urgently wants to put a stop to the Speaker’s abuse of her power to manipulate the Agenda and in turn, council proceedings. She is setting a dangerous precedent and we will not allow her to pave the way for making Council a rubber stamp that simply accedes to the whims of the ANC.
The DA will submit an urgent letter to MEC Vass, detailing the unacceptable behavior of Johnson and requesting an intervention. As the opposition, the DA is also entitled to having our voice heard. If she chooses to block us out, we will make her feel our presence.
The DA respects the democratic processes that should guide all government processes.
Cllr Reinette Liebenberg
DA Councillor: Sol Plaatje Municipality
071 733 2640
Shelley De Witt
082 847 1387