ActionSA is extremely concerned by the apparent overreach by the City of Ekurhuleni Speaker of Council, Cllr Raymond Dlamini, who attempted to block a motion of no confidence in himself and the whip of the council, Keta Shandu.
During an ordinary programming committee meeting, Speaker Dlamini ended the programming committee meeting early without allowing for debate on whether the motion of no confidence in himself and Shandu should be permitted this week.
He cited a number of frivolous reasons for ending the debate, including that he was experiencing load shedding and struggled with internet connectivity.
Therefore, an extraordinary sitting of the programming committee meeting had to be convened to rectify Dlamini’s behaviour.
Regardless of the merits of the motions of no confidence, it is the Speaker’s responsibility to allow all motions that are submitted in time to be heard in council, and his behaviour therefore amounts to overreach.
Motions of no confidence are a legitimate democratic means to hold the executive accountable, regardless of whether a party disagrees with the merits of a motion.
ActionSA strongly condemns Cllr Dlamini’s actions, but it is in line with his behaviour since he was elected as council speaker where he has struggled with a poor understanding of council procedures and legislative norms.
ActionSA, as a constructive opposition in the City of Ekurhuleni, does not seek to destabilise the DA-led coalition, but as a party that values the rule of law, we will ensure that no public official engages in executive overreach – regardless of which political party they are from.
Although motions of no confidence have previously been used by the ANC and by minority parties to collapse coalition governments that have successfully halted patronage networks that used to benefit them, ActionSA cannot condone attempts to block a legitimate council process.