Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) council members who helped the ANC pass the Mogale City local municipality’s budget will face disciplinary proceedings, party leader Julius Malema said on Thursday.
“We are punishing them for attending a meeting we said they should not attend,” he told News24 in an interview.
Last week, at least seven EFF councillors attended a council meeting in the small West Rand municipality and voted with the ANC to adopt a budget the new mayor, ANC councillor Patrick Lipudi, had tabled.
A vote with the ANC meant a vote for corruption, Malema said.
“We cannot sit with people here and think we are in agreement, then only to realise that we are not in agreement. That is putting the party into disrepute.”
He said none of the councillors who went against the EFF’s wishes had openly disagreed with the instructions they were given.
Malema said the issue was not about voting with their conscience, but about ill-discipline.
“After the DC (disciplinary committee) they will realise that there’s no hypocrisy in the EFF acting purely on ill-discipline,” he said.
A rerun next year
He said they had hoped for the budget not to be passed as this would have resulted in a rerun of elections for a council. However, the EFF councillors’ actions meant this would have to wait until 2018.
“We need to get reliable councillors. This is not just an EFF problem alone. The DA [Democratic Alliance] and the IFP chap also supported the budget.”
He said opposition parties needed to reorganise themselves to challenge the ANC in Mogale City.
“This [council] is hung in a way that there is no certainty. Every two weeks they are getting a new mayor. We cannot allow our people to be subjected to unstable government.”
Lipudi was elected on June 29, making him the municipality’s third mayor since the local government elections in August 2016. He ousted the DA’s Michael Holenstein during a vote of no confidence. Holenstein had replaced DA councillor Lynn Pannall, who resigned as mayor due to ill health in December last year.
A DA-led coalition with the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus), and the EFF as a voting partner, took the municipality from the ANC in August last year.
Malema said the issue about the budget was not about it needing to be pro-poor, but about giving Mogale City residents a stable government. – News24