NOT AMUSED: Mayor Salome Sithole is said to be in the mood for sacking. Picture: France Nyaka
The Emalahleni local municipality in Witbank hotly denied that it was on a mission to fire council speaker Augustine Mkhwanazi following tension between her and mayor Salome Sithole.
Our reliable source said Mkhwanazi was ordered to resign from office within seven days after she handled the DA’s submission of a notice of motion for a vote of no-confidence in Sithole last week.
The notice is expected to be tabled at the council sitting scheduled for Thursday when Sithole’s leadership will be on the agenda for debate.
Mkhwanazi’s handling of the no-confidence vote issue is said to have angered municipal manager George Mthimunye and Sithole who responded by ejecting Mkhwanazi from office before the Thursday sitting, allegedly to prevent possible axing of mayor Sithole.
Referring to the Municipal Structures Act, a source said the “act clearly states that a speaker is elected to office by the council for a set term and can only vacate office before the term ends by resigning or being removed by vote of no-confidence”.
“The latter will be time-consuming and therefore Mkhwanazi will most probably be forced to tender her resignation during council sitting this week,” the source said.
Sithole also allegedly threatened to fire a member of the mayoral committee for human resources, Connie Simelane.
Said the source: “It is quite obvious that mayor Sithole is feeling the heat of the DA-driven notice of motion of no-confidence due for debate. We therefore urge her to vacate the office and grant others a chance to expose their political and administrative skills.”
Both Sithole and Mkhwanazi could not be reached for comment after their mobile phones rang unanswered.
Speaking to The New Age, DA provincial spokesperson Willie Venter confirmed the party had submitted a notice for a motion of no-confidence vote in Sithole.
“We can confirm that we have submitted the notice for this week’s debate,” said Venter.
“We are aware the speaker has been ordered to resign about the handling of our submission. This is against the ``”
The Emalahleni municipality’s spokesperson Lebohang Mofokeng said they were aware of the allegations.
“As the municipality we regard the matter as blue lies because there is no differences between the mayor and the speaker. However, we are aware of the unconfirmed reports about the resignation of the speaker,” said Mofokeng.