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Tshwane vote of no confidence: How much trouble is Solly Msimanga really in?

The Economic Freedom Fighters have tabled a motion of no confidence against Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga according to The Citizen.

According to this report the DA’s leader Mmusi Maimane views the move as an attempt by the EFF to protect corruption, as they do not support the suspension of city manager Moeketsi Mosola, who was suspended over a R12bn contract awarded to an engineering consultancy to manage the city’s infrastructure projects.

Julius Malema claimed that Mosola was being punished due to his suspicions that  Msimanga hired former Tshwane chief of staff Marietha Aucamp, despite the fact that she lacked the requisite qualifications.

The Mail and Guardian reported that Aucamp resigned in May over allegations regarding her qualifications. Cope had also opened a case of fraud against her according to News24.

The Sowetan LIVE reported in June that an inquiry had found that Aucamp had lied about her qualifications, and three human resources officials had helped cover this up.

Now the plot thickens, according to Times LIVE questions over how much Msimanaga knew about the R12bn contract might see DA members voting alongside the EFF.

The whole issue is a major headache for the DA. According to News24, Msimanga has only just won a bid to become to become the party’s candidate for the Gauteng premiership.

“The fact of the matter is that I come with a track record, which the party will want to use,” Msimanga said at the time.

According to that report the DA would be announcing a caretaker mayor while Msimanga ran his provincial campaign.

My Take

The EFF have been trying to get rid of Nelson Mandela Bay’s mayor Athol Trollip for ages now, and each time the motion has come forward their ill discipline has prevented it passing, essentially keeping Trollip in place.

Msimanga may end up facing the same situation.

To understand why the corruption allegations are such a huge problem for the DA, one has to understand the DA’s core appeal.

Aside from its traditional appeal to a strong opposition, it has also always been the party that claims to have skilled and relatively honest administrators.

The Aucamp situation was a complete stuff-up. It cuts right to the core of what the DA is offering.

Though she resigned, the fact is that she has cost the party a fair bit of credibility. That an inquiry found that there was an attempted cover-up shows that corruption had seeped into Msimanga’s administration.

The position of mayor is one of those positions where the buck stops – so it does reflect badly on Msimanga. That said, the more concerning issue is what he knew about the R12 billion contract, if simply because billions are more than the millions Aucamp got.

It will be tough for the DA in these next general elections because they heavily rely on the argument that the ANC is corrupt. These sort of allegations aren’t going to help them in making the case that they’ll run a cleaner ship.

And nor should it. The ANC was not corrupted overnight, it took a long time for them to get as bad as they are now, and a lot of that was because people keep voting for them even as larger and larger scandals hit the news.

A big chunk of the ruin of the ANC was people who declared negative reporting to be ‘bias’ or ‘white owned media’ – honest governance cannot survive loyalty.

Any party anywhere can become like the ANC if left to its own devices, including the DA.

Whenever corruption occurs it is our leaders showing their loyalty and it is not to us, so why should we be loyal to them?

They don’t defend us, they sell us out, why should we defend them?

Msimanga may survive the vote of no confidence on Thursday but I don’t see this as helping him become premier.

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