Does the ANC’s step aside rule exclude Ramaphosa supporters?

28 Jul 2021 in Press Statements

The Democratic Alliance today calls on the embattled Newcastle Mayor, Dr Ntuthuko Mahlaba, to step aside from his mayoral duties following his appearance at the Newcastle Magistrate’s Court on charges of theft and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

According to reports, the charges are from an incident that happened last year where the mayor was allegedly involved in an altercation with a contractor. In August last year, the president of Mahlaba’s organisation, the ANC, Cyril Ramaphosa, announced that all those with pending cases must immediately step aside from all official positions pending finalisation of their cases. It is only right that Mahlaba also steps aside.

Over the years, Mahlaba has also portrayed himself as an unprofessional mayor, who has no control over his temper. In 2019, a video of him in an altercation with municipal employees who were on strike was widely circulated on social media. In the same year, he was also arrested in connection with the murder of an African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) leader, in which after the death of a key witness, the charges were withdrawn.

We cannot have a Mayor who is in and out of courts. His shady dealings are a bad reflection on the municipality. Residents of Newcastle deserve better than a bully masquerading as a mayor than delivering services and getting things done.

Mahlaba who is known to be a staunch Ramaphosa supporter must step aside. If he refuses to step aside, the ANC has to force him to do so, otherwise this will be an indication that the resolution was catered for some and not for the ANC president’s staunch supporters.