‘Disgraceful and embarrassing’: Johannesburg speaker on spat between MMCs Dada Morero, Kenny Kunene

The City of Joburg Speaker Colleen Makhubele said the spat between MMCs Kenny Kunene (pictured) and Dada Morero could have far-reaching consequences.

The City of Joburg Speaker Colleen Makhubele said the spat between MMCs Kenny Kunene (pictured) and Dada Morero could have far-reaching consequences.

Gallo Images/Luba Lesolle

  • Johannesburg Speaker Colleen Makhubele has asked the mayor to provide her with a report on plans to handle public spats between members of the mayoral committee.
  • This after Kenny Kunene accused Dada Morero of withholding funds. 
  • The speaker has described the spat as “disgraceful” and “embarrassing”.

“Disgraceful” and “embarrassing” were the words City of Johannesburg Speaker Colleen Makhubele used to describe a public spat between member of the mayoral committee (MMC) for transport, Kenny Kunene, and Finance MMC Dada Morero.

She expects Mayor Kabelo Gwamanda to provide her with a report on how he plans to deal with spats in the council.

“I’m hanging my head in shame. One of the pillars of the GLU (government of local unity coalition) is good governance. The fight between the MMCs reflects bad governance. The allegations are very serious and have far-reaching effects if the allegations are true. It’s more than just two egos fighting. It’s disgraceful and embarrassing,” she said.

Kunene accused Morero of withholding funds from entities that fall under the transport department and accused him of being captured by commercial interests.

At a press briefing Kunene held on 7 September to update residents on the transport department’s achievements, he went on a tirade, accusing Morero of failing to help the department deliver what it had promised residents.

As deputy president of the Patriotic Alliance, Kunene then sent a letter of complaint to the ANC with the accusations against Morero, the ANC’s Johannesburg caucus leader.


Dada Morero of the ANC is the new MMC for Finance during the 16th extraordinary council meeting which has the election of a new mayor for the City of Johannesburg as an item on 5 May 2023 in Johannesburg.

Gallo Images Gallo Images/Sydney Seshibedi

Morero denied the allegations.

On Monday, he spoke on Phemelo Motene’s show on Kaya FM, and said no funds had been withheld and that the transport department had been allocated a large chunk of the R80.9-billion budget. 

He said the department’s low spend was a concern. It’s already September – well into the new financial year – but there hasn’t been any real spending on CapEx in the department, he said.

News24 contacted both MMCs. Their comments will be added once received.

In a statement, Makhubele’s office said it had “noted with concern recent developments which involve public spats and serious allegations among mayoral committee members”.

“The speaker [has] written to the executive mayor requesting the mayor to urgently submit a report regarding actions he is taking, or he intends … to deal with this matter expeditiously.”

According to the Municipal Structures Act, the request aligns with the speaker’s responsibility “for the effective oversight over the executive authority of the municipality [and] ethics and accountability of the municipal council”.

READ | ANC ready to dump Joburg EFF

The office expects a response by Friday so the speaker can determine the nature of action to take, which may include an investigation into the allegations.

Speaking to News24 on Thursday, Makhubele said the spat had far-reaching consequences that amounted to more than public embarrassment.

She reiterated:

The allegations are very serious, and if they are found to be true, it will be more than just two egos fighting. [The allegations] on the two MMCs reflect bad governance [if true], one of the pillars of the Government of Local Unity (the ANC, PA, and EFF coalition), is good governance.

Makhubele said there hadn’t been any word on the mayor’s response, but added that she expected it to come on Friday. 

News24 understands that the ANC and PA will meet to discuss the matter, and, that the ANC has called on Gwamanda to show leadership by putting the caucus back into order.

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