Tshwane council chamber.
Deaan Vivier, Gallo Images, Netwerk24
- ActionSA has terminated the membership of two of its councillors.
- The party said results from polygraph tests conducted on the two members showed they had disobeyed the party’s mandate in the election of a speaker and mayor in Tshwane.
- The membership terminations came hours ahead of the election of a mayor in Tshwane.
ActionSA has terminated two councillors’ membership in Tshwane after they allegedly supported candidates backed by the EFF and ANC in the municipality’s elections for speaker and mayor.
The two councillors, Mandla Mhlana and Mpho Baloyi, had their memberships terminated on Thursday after an investigation by the party.
It based its decision on the outcome of polygraph tests conducted on ActionSA councillors earlier this month.
The tests were instituted after the election of Murunwa Mawkarela as mayor on 28 February.
The ANC, EFF, and a cohort of smaller political parties in the council supported the former mayor.
Eight other councillors from the DA, ActionSA, FF Plus and ACDP were believed to have supported Makwarela’s election in opposition to the coalition’s mandate to back DA councillor Cilliers Brink.
The coalition partners conducted polygraph tests on councillors to determine who voted for Makwarela.
READ | EFF councillors disrupt polygraph testing, ActionSA vows to open criminal case
ActionSA Gauteng leader Funzi Ngobeni said Mhlana and Baloyi were also believed to have voted to support ATM councillor Mncedi Ndzwanana’s election as speaker on Monday.
Baloyi is also accused of providing the location to the EFF where the polygraph tests were conducted.
“The investigation did not solely rely on the polygraph tests. Both councillors failed on two separate occasions on the question of voting against the coalition and being offered rewards.”
The investigation concluded that the polygraph test results are corroborated sufficiently by additional evidence for ActionSA to take these steps. ActionSA is satisfied that the people concerned were not casting votes of conscience.
On Monday, ActionSA announced the termination of Nkele Molapo’s membership. Her membership status is still unclear because she had indicated she was appealing her dismissal from the party.
READ | ActionSA terminates Nkele Molapo’s membership after finding she shared party info with husband
The termination of the membership was not expected to affect the DA coalition numbers ahead of the mayoral election on Friday.
The ActionSA/DA coalition has 106 members in the council. In comparison, the ANC/EFF voting bloc has an estimated 105 votes.
Brink may emerge as mayor if the DA coalition manages to clinch the full caucus support in the secret ballot election.
But anything could happen as the start of the special sitting to elect a mayor revealed on Friday morning.
Ahead of the sitting, a programming committee chaired by Ndzwanana drew up strict rules for the election.
The rules allow only Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) issued pens for the election, and only an X may be used to mark support in the ballot.
The DA coalition is understood to be upset by the rules deeming them illegal and contravening regulations allowed by the IEC.
READ | The 69 ‘spoilt’ votes: Why the DA’s strategy in Tshwane transgressed IEC guidelines
The IEC allows personalised pens and permits a voter to use any symbol to mark their ballot.
The electoral rules prohibited markings that reveal the voter’s identity, a coalition party leader told News24.
Meanwhile, in a separate but related matter, COPE’s efforts to replace Makwarela as a PR candidate in Tshwane has left the party red-faced for a second time.
Its latest candidate is scandal-prone, just like his predecessor.
COPE member Thabang Sefanyetso, who was selected to replace Mawkarela, owns two ID numbers.
He will be removed from COPE’s PR list, the party said.