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S.Africa capital city council dissolved in leadership row

South Africa’s capital city council was dissolved Thursday after months of political disputes that sparked sporadic protests and disrupted some city services.

Squabbles between political parties have interrupted civil servants’ salaries and budget management for months in Tshwane, the official name of South Africa’s administrative capital Pretoria and surrounding areas.

“The Tshwane municipal council is dissolved and an administrator will be appointed to run the municipality,” provincial minister David Makhura said.

A new council will be elected within 90 days.

No political party holds an outright majority in Pretoria and council sittings have collapsed since last November.

Tshwane council has been without a mayor since last month when Stevens Mokgalapa stepped down following a leaked “sex” recording scandal.

The acting city manager Augustine Makgata’s contract has not been renewed due to the political battles.

“It’s been a circus,” provincial lawmaker Lebogang Maile told broadcaster eNCA on Thursday.

The municipality has been in disarray since the collapse of a coalition forged in 2016 between the two largest opposition parties – the liberal Democratic Alliance (DA) and the leftist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

The coalition fell apart in July 2019.

The EFF is happy with the dissolution, hoping a new election would allow residents the opportunity to vote for a “functional municipality” after months of poor services.

Tshwane is the administrative seat of government where President Cyril Ramaphosa’s office and all ministries are located.

South Africa’s parliament is housed in Cape Town and its judicial capital is Bloemfontein.