Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
12 Mar 2020
12:04 pm

DA wants KZN premier, Cogta MEC to pay costs for ‘unnecessary’ legal battle with municipality

Citizen Reporter

Pietermaritzburg High Court ruled that the municipality's administrator acted unlawfully after suspending municipal manager Bonginkosi Ntanzi.

KwaZulu-Natal DA leadership Zwakele Mncwango, left, and Francois Rodgers. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

The Democratic Alliance (DA) wants KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala and cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) MEC Sipho Hlomuka to pay costs following the legal battle with Abaqulusi Municipality.

“The Democratic Alliance today calls for KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala and his cooperative governance (Cogta) MEC, Sipho Hlomuka, to be held personally liable for costs as a result of an unnecessary legal battle with the IFP-run Abaqulusi Municipality,” DA’s MPL Zwakele Mncwango said in a statement on Thursday.

Yesterday, Pietermaritzburg High Court ruled that the municipality’s administrator, Elphas Dladla, acted unlawfully after suspending municipal manager Bonginkosi Ntanzi and also attempting to extend the suspension period.

“The DA is extremely concerned by this revelation. This matter is not a question about who was wrong or right.

“It is about the fact that while they knew they no chance of their being successful, given that the three months disciplinary period had expired, the MEC and the Premier persisted with their witch-hunt in this IFP-led municipality,” Mncwango said.

Mncwango said the matter was at great cost at the expense of the province’s taxpayers.

“This at great cost to KZN’s taxpayers.

“This is clear from the comments made by presiding Judge [Rishi] Seegobin who stated that it was ‘particularly disturbing that the applicants would persist with this matter knowing full well that the suspension had lapsed a long time ago and could not be extended in terms of the regulations,” the MPL said.

He also stated that ‘the parlous state of the country’s finances and the heavy financial burden placed on ordinary taxpayers’ should be cause for government departments and their legal representatives to embark on litigation in a considered and responsible manner.

Mncwango said the DA expected the premier and the MEC to pay for ‘this debacle out of their own pockets’.

“Their actions were entirely irresponsible.

“We also expect them to explain why recommendations of the numerous forensic investigations into KZN municipalities and provincial government departments are not implemented and why they are so quick to rush to court instead where they are wasting public money.

“This must stop!” said Mncwango.

He further said the DA remained committed to ensuring that KZN’s taxpayers were not fleeced through the”selfish actions” of politicians.

“As the province’s only real effective opposition, we will continue to hold the ANC to account,” Mncwango concluded.

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