/ 27 October 2022

‘It’s good to be back,’ says Joburg mayor Mpho Phalatse

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Reinstated Joburg Mayor, Mpho Phalatse at Mail Guardian 200 Young. Photo: Mziwamaqithi Mzinzi

Reinstated Johannesburg mayor Mpho Phalatse called for greater stability in the city during her first council sitting on Thursday, after Tuesday’s high court ruling that her removal on 30 September was unlawful. 

Johannesburg high court Judge Raylene Keightley ruled that the motion of no confidence that removed Phalatse, and the election of ANC councillor Dada Morero on the same day, were driven by “ulterior purposes” because council speaker Colleen Makhubele had given an “unreasonable” 16 hours notice on the evening of 29 September for the vote the following day. 

Phalatse is from the Democratic Alliance. 

“Given the extreme haste with which the speaker acted in calling and setting the date for the meeting, as well as the absence of any real justification for the speed with which she acted, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that she acted for an ulterior purpose,” Keightley ruled. 

Addressing the council on Thursday, Phalatse said the time between her ousting and Tuesday’s court ruling reinstating her had been a “painful, tumultuous and traumatic” period. 

“It’s good to be back. It’s good to see the city’s rightful administration back where they belong. I sincerely hope that we will see stability going forward and that our focus will be the six million residents that we’ve pledged to serve — service delivery,” she said.

“Let’s go out and do our best.” 

Councillors were expected to elect new chairpersons of the crucial municipal public accounts committee, which oversees all city finances and spending, as well as the chairpersons of the health and social development committee, on Thursday.