Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
29 Apr 2020
1:50 pm

DA wins court battle to invalidate dissolution of Tshwane council

Citizen Reporter

The high court has ruled that ANC and EFF councillors will need to get back to work once the lockdown ends, with the capital city in effect now still in DA control.

EFF councillors can be seen chasing away the Deputy Speaker, Zweli Khumalo during the Special Council sitting at Tshwane House, 5 December 2019, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

The DA has been successful in its court attempt to reverse the decision to place the Tshwane metro under administration.

Their review in the High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday reversed the provincial government’s decision to dissolve the city council.

Costs were also awarded to the DA after the court ruled that Gauteng Premier David Makhura and his exco dissolved the council in March for political reasons.

The court found that the decision by Makhura and his exco was unlawful since it was interference from one sphere of government into another, which the court ruled was “most intrusive and can only be resorted to in exceptional circumstances”.

Late last month the DA said they were confident that all the issues were fully canvassed in court and the judgment would be important for understanding how minority governments should work.

The court found that ANC and EFF councillors had also kept breaking quorum, effectively making the council ungovernable in order to force the dissolution and administration.

As a result, it was ordered that they should attend council meetings when the lockdown ends, which DA MP Cilliers Brink called a “very rare direct (and welcome) enforcement of the statutory code of conduct for councillors”, in reacting to the news on Twitter.

The DA had argued that if the ANC “is in power in eight of the nine provinces and there are councils that are vulnerable, this judgment will determine whether the principle of separation of powers at the different spheres of government and their equal rights to exist is upheld and protected, or whether they will be vulnerable to attack by a super dominant ANC”.

In mid-March, the Gauteng provincial government, alongside the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), approved the application of section 139 (1)(c) to have Tshwane placed under administration. This led to the dissolution of the Tshwane council.

This after Gauteng Human Settlements, Urban Planning and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Lebogang Maile fingered several challenges which may have resulted in the government’s intervention to place the metro under administration.

This is a developing story.

(Edited by Charles Cilliers)

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