JOHANNESBURG – Joburg Mayor Mpho Phalatse is asking the High Court to block a scheduled extraordinary sitting of council meant to debate a motion of no confidence against her on Friday morning.
In a 14-page application lodged on Thursday night, Phalatse is asking that both a notice for the sitting and the programming committee’s meeting, which sat on Thursday night, be found invalid and unlawful.
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She said that the programming meeting gave the sitting the green light, despite not being able to meet quorum.
The sitting was called by newly-elected Speaker of council Colleen Makhubele less than 24 hours after being elected into office.
Phalatse admits that her court action against Makhubele and 14 others was done in haste but said that she had no other option as objections to actions that took place on Thursday were ignored.
She’s raised concerns about the urgency of the special sitting which has been called by Makhubele.
Phalatse said that this was odd, considering the Speaker, just hours before, told councillors she wouldn’t call for a sitting while wishing them a restful recess period.
The mayor, who’s taken the fight to stay in office to both the courts and social media, claims that she was never alerted of the motions of no confidence, which go as far back as August, instead, saying she learnt of them via the media.
Phalatse argues that not only enough programming committee members met over the meeting but that Makhubele did not allow sufficient time for councillors to prepare.
She said that the Municipal Structures Act dictated that there be at least three days’ notice ahead of such a sitting.
Opposition parties have labeled this move as Phalatse’s attempt to delay the inevitable.