Gopolang Moloko
2 minute read
28 May 2020
11:37 am

Elected councillors remain out of office, says DA in battle for Tshwane

Gopolang Moloko

The party is unpacking its Section 18(3) application in a virtual courtroom.

DA in virtual court over Tshwane dissolution.

The DA is back in court in an attempt to immediately enforce the recent High Court in Pretoria judgment which declared the dissolution of the Tshwane council unlawful.

The party is unpacking its Section 18(3) application in a virtual courtroom, which is being heard by a full bench of three judges who will rule on the immediate implementation of the high court ruling.

The DA argues that the high court’s judgment noted that the Tshwane council was unable to function due to recurrent walkouts by both the ANC and the EFF.

Elaborating that its request to immediately implement the ruling the party highlighted Section 159(2) which states that if a municipal council has dissolved an election must be held within 90 days of the date on which that council was dissolved.

In this case, the 90-day period has almost lapsed, the party argued.

“Citizens of Tshwane have a fundamental constitutional right to be governed by those they elected – not an unelected administrator.”

Should the court refuse the current application, the current Tshwane administrator will be in office for longer than the constitution stipulates.

The party submits that their argument, which also highlights recent financial reports relating to the metro indicating a perceived collapse of the city’s income and revenue streams “thanks to” the mismanagement of Cogta MEC Lebogang Maile’s appointed administrator.

The matter satisfies the exceptional circumstances as per Section 18(3), according to the party, which maintains the elected councillors of Tshwane will continue to remain out of office while Tshwane continues to be controlled by an unelected administrator.

Meanwhile Gauteng cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) MEC Lebogang Maile maintains the National Council of Provinces’ (NCOP) decision to accept recommendations on the dissolution of the Tshwane metro council was valid, with the necessary merit.

A majority of provinces during a sitting of the NCOP in the Gauteng legislature voted to adopt a report recommending the council’s dissolution following a number of failed council sittings.

Tshwane was placed under administration due to recurrent leadership squabbles while the municipality was without a mayor for close to a month after Stevens Mokgalapa resigned on February 26, following a leaked recording of him and colleague discussing council matters and allegedly having sex.

Maile maintains there needs to be finality on the issue and confirmed the matter would head to the Constitutional Court for a final verdict.

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