Johannesburg Mayor Kabelo Gwamanda has come out guns blazing, saying that council rules do not require him to be subjected to media interrogation.
Gwamanda was responding to the State of the City Address debate on Tuesday, which was postponed on Wednesday last week due to his illness.
After taking office, the Al Jama-ah councillor has been heavily chastised for repeatedly cancelling media appearances.
Gwamada was supposed to meet with the media after delivering his first State of the City Address on Tuesday, but the meeting was moved to Thursday.
It never happened because of illness.
This was not his first missing media appearance in the City of Johannesburg.
Last month, the mayor skipped a news conference when he was supposed to respond to fraud allegations levelled against him.
This is about his investment firm Ithemba Lama Afrika, which is suspected of defrauding several victims.
Gwamanda took use of the Tuesday opportunity to lash out at his critics.
“To all the residents in the City of Johannesburg and beyond, I would like to note that there is a fine distinction between fact and fiction, service delivery and grandstanding, leadership and acting.
“But most importantly, the blurred distinction between news reporting and driving sponsored narrative – with power comes great responsibility.
“And the notion that suggests that mere perspective is everything is detrimental to our society.
“Madam Speaker, allow me to educate fellow councillors in opposition and the same breath assist our residents with information regarding the roles of the executive mayor in accordance with chapter 4 of the standing rule and orders of council section 35.2, which is clear and nowhere does it stipulate that the executive mayor is obligated to subjecting him/herself to social media or media houses for interrogation,” said Gwamanda.
He also moved to assure residents that there is no leadership crisis in the city.
“I would like to assure the residents that the government in its current form is stable and that there is no leadership crisis in the city of Johannesburg.
“Apart from the frivolous sponsored narratives from opposition and rhetoric that have no bearing on my fiduciary duty as the councillor and constitutional obligation as the executive mayor, nor on the daily lived experience of the residents.
“We are, therefore, as the government of local unity reiterating that we are here, and we are at the service of all six million residents. We demonstrate through action that we are more than capable of governing, and effectively so.”