The party had instructed them not to vote for the municipality’s budget but they did, claiming it was pro-poor.
Three of the six Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) councillors from Mogale City municipality in Krugersdorp facing expulsion appeared before the party’s disciplinary committee yesterday.
They are facing charges of bringing the party into disrepute and breaching its constitution and principles.
The three, Eric Baloyi, Nomonde Nkatu and Nhlanhla Shilubane, were charged with fellow councillors Smanga Mkhumbeni, Lebogang Modisane and Eddie Motsisi after they voted with the ruling ANC for the municipality’s budget, despite an instruction from the EFF not to do so.
If the EFF councillors had not participated in the vote, the budget wouldn’t have been passed as there would not have been a quorum.
The council had been struggling to pass its budget after the EFF, DA and IFP refused to participate in the vote.
At one stage, the ANC-led council had to postpone the budget and integrated development planning (IDP) after the opposition coalition boycotted the council sitting.
But in a surprise move on July 11, six of nine EFF councillors voted in favour of the budget despite an instruction from their party not to do so.
The party vowed to take disciplinary measures against them. The disciplinary hearing started yesterday at the EFF head office in Johannesburg where Baloyi, Nkatu and Shilubane appeared.
The hearing against Mkhumbeni, Modise and Motsisi is today. The councillors were adamant that they had done no wrong.
Their spokesperson, Smanga Mkhumbeni, said the disciplinary process was uncalled for. He said they had supported the budget because it spoke to the needs of the poor, which was what the EFF stood for.
“We supported the budget on July 11 because we always stand on the side of the poor. As EFF councillors, we supported the budget, it’s not that we supported the ANC.”
Mkhumbeni said the EFF made submissions during the IDP process to ensure the poor were catered for in the final budget.
“Our demands were incorporated into the budget, why can’t we support a budget that is uplifting the lives of our people. That’s what we stand for as the EFF,” he said.
Mogale City is the only municipality where the majority margin between the ruling party and the opposition is so small.
At any given time, the ruling party can change, depending on whether a member or members of the coalition decide to favour the ANC.
In the 2016 local government elections, the DA secured 27 seats‚ the EFF got nine‚ the IFP two and the Freedom Front Plus one.
The opposition together have 39 seats and the ANC has 38. The municipality was being run by a DA-led coalition including the EFF, IFP and FFP with the DA’s Michael Holenstein as mayor.
But he was ousted when one of the coalition councillors supported the then opposition ANC-led motion of no confidence against him, giving the ANC the majority it needed to wrest the council away from the DA.
Source : citizen
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