In a statement on Tuesday, the Democratic Alliance (DA) confirmed that DA-led Tshwane Mayor Stevens Mokgalapa has been placed on special leave pending the conclusion of investigations into his conduct in the wake of an alleged sex scandal.
They also “noted” that the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) had tabled a motion of no confidence in him.
Mokgalapa said in a later statement: “I have decided to take special leave, starting on Thursday 28th November 2019.
“Having said that, I will continue to avail myself for party processes that are currently underway. I assure residents that I’m committed to cooperating with this process throughout.
“No further communication will be made in this regard until investigations are concluded.”
DA Gauteng leader John Moodey said the DA had made “great progress” since taking over the City of Tshwane administration in 2016 and would “continue to put the residents first in delivering quality services”.
“Furthermore, the DA leadership has met with Mayor Mokgalapa yesterday and today to discuss the serious allegations made against him and Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Transport Councillor Sheila Senkubuge, claimed to be supported by an audio clip that is being widely distributed.
“The DA has instituted a Federal Legal Commission investigation where Mayor Mokgalapa and MMC Sheila Senkubuge will be given the opportunity to present their version of events.
“Mayor Mokgapala will be placed on Special leave while these investigations are under way.
“In consideration of clause 2b) of the Code of Conduct for Councillors, the Speaker of the DA-led Tshwane Council has also referred the matter to the Ethics Committee for further investigation.
“The DA is committed to provide clean governance and acts appropriately when such serious allegations arise.”
On Monday, the ANC called on Mokgalapa to “fall on his sword” after an audio recording, purportedly of him and Senkubuge engaging in an intimate act, was leaked.
In the recording, which was widely circulated on social media, the two office bearers can be heard discussing their colleagues in the council before allegedly becoming intimate with one another.
The ANC in Tshwane said they were not shocked by the recording and were also certain that the audio clip was authentic and revealed that Mokgalapa is “clearly having sex with [his] direct subordinate, MMC of roads and transport Sheila Senkubuge”.
Mokgalapa and Senkubuge responded to the audio recording, saying that they viewed the leak in a very serious light.
“Not only is it illegal to obtain such in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act, it is also being used as a tool to blackmail and extort undue favours from the City of Tshwane,” said mayoral spokesperson Omogolo Taunyane in a statement.
“Threats to release the recording have been communicated to us via an intermediary wherein certain demands have been made,” Mokgalapa said.
He added that the demands included the reinstatement of four officials who were suspended for violations of the Municipal Finance Management Act and other relevant statutes governing the conduct of officials of the municipality.
“We have both refused to give in to the demands of these individuals who are hell-bent on seeing us break the law to give them easy passage back into the municipality. This is despite the serious nature of the allegations they are facing. We will not sacrifice our oaths of office and betray the trust that the people of Tshwane have placed in us,” said Mokgalapa.
Mokgalapa also opened a case of extortion and blackmail.