The DA has slammed both the ANC Gauteng government and the EFF for seeking to appeal a high court judgment which set aside a decision to dissolve the Tshwane metro.
Last month, the DA successfully challenged a decision by the Gauteng government, with the backing of the National Council of Provinces, to place the capital city under administration and completely dissolve its council.
“The ANC and EFF have claimed that the court has breached their right to disrupt meetings. Is this why they want to go to court, to be disruptive?” questioned DA Gauteng chairperson Mike Moriarty.
He made the remarks during a virtual media briefing a day after the council was set to resume and elect a new mayor, but has since been stalled by the appeal applications.
The DA said it will oppose applications for direct access to the Constitutional Court this week over the matter brought by both the ANC and the EFF.
The EFF has approached both the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court of Appeals.
“The courts must not reward the ANC’s strategy of ungovernability in the places where it has lost control, the courts must not reward the EFF’s politics of chaos,” said Moriarty.
“We will ask the court to use rule 18 (3) to order that the judgement to overturn the dissolution of Tshwane Council be effective immediately,” said Moriarty.
This will be aimed at making the latest judgement effective immediately, while the appeal applications processes played themselves out.
On Thursday, Gauteng MEC for human settlements, urban planning and cooperative governance Lebogang Maile announced the province had decided to approach the Constitutional Court to challenge the ruling.
Maile said the province felt the approach adopted by the courts was “unworkable” and “inconsistent” with previous judgments by the Constitutional Court on municipalities’ obligations.
Moriarty accused the ANC of failing to accept that it has lost power and wanting to grab power by “foul” means.
“The ANC has exposed its strategy to render the council ungovernable in order to take control. In so doing, they show themselves as being unable to accept the democratic will of the voters,” said Moriarty over concerns raised in the court papers regarding council meeting quorums.
The EFF in its papers also argued the high court misinterpreted in its findings.
In defending their right to walk out of council, the party’s national spokesperson Vuyani Pambo said the latest court findings meant in the future councillors would be in contempt of the courts for being absent from council proceedings.
“The Code of Conduct of Councillors has its own sanctions for members of a council who do not attend meetings … for the court to suggest that members must be present at council meetings unless there is a lawful reason for being absent is judicial overreach,” Pambo said.
The EFF also took issue with the court’s judgment on “exceptional circumstances”.
“The duty to objectively interpret whether exceptional circumstances exist in a council that hinder it from executing its executive duties rests on the provincial executive,” said the EFF spokesperson.