Pretoria - City of Tshwane Speaker Katlego Mathebe has resigned as the presiding officer in council and has been appointed as the MMC for Environment and Agriculture Management with effect from January 18.
The 50-year-old Mathebe, who has been at the helm of the municipal council since 2016, will now be the fifth DA member to join the multiparty executive, which includes three ActionSA members and two from the Freedom Front Plus.
When mayor Randall Williams unveiled MMCs in December, he left vacant the position for Environment and Agriculture Management.
At the time, the EFF regional chairperson Obakeng Ramabodu hinted that Mathebe would soon be moved into the portfolio.
He claimed the reason for a vacancy was because there were plans to appoint a Cope councillor as a new speaker and make Mathebe the MMC.
During her tenure, Mathebe came under fire from opposition parties for her leadership style, believed to be divisive by her detractors and of not wanting to instil ward committees.
At some stage, she had to fight off motions of no confidence from the EFF.
Her appointment as MMC came after the EFF castigated Williams for the decision to have "a male-white dominated" executive.
The party further called for Williams to reshuffle the committee and make sure it reflected “the people of Tshwane who are predominantly African”.
Yesterday, Williams said: "On behalf of the City of Tshwane, I would like to thank Alderman Mathebe for her sterling work during her tenure as Speaker of Council. She presided over council meetings in a commendable manner during some of the most challenging political periods in the City."
He expressed optimism to work with Mathebe, saying her appointment meant that all ten multiparty MMCs positions had been filled.
"MMCs play a crucial role in supporting the work of the Executive Mayor to deliver quality services to residents," he said.
According to Williams, the council will soon convene to appoint a new Speaker.
The new speaker will be expected to see through the process of electing ward committees already started by Mathebe.
Last week, she was accused by the EFF of wanting to exclude people who did not have access to the internet by hosting virtual public meetings on the revised ward committee by-laws.
Mathebe, however, apologised through her office and stated that she was never intended to be “malicious”.
Under her leadership, the City had been without ward committees and that had often been a contentious issue in council.