Axed EFF MP wants job back

For­mer MP goes to court af­ter kids kicked out of pri­vate school and bakkie re­pos­sessed

CityPress - - News - ANDISIWE MAKINANA andisiwe.makinana@city­

Ais­former Eco­nomic Free­dom Fight­ers (EFF) MP, whose chil­dren were thrown out of pri­vate school and whose bakkie was re­pos­sessed af­ter the party ex­pelled him for re­fus­ing to move to a dif­fer­ent mu­nic­i­pal­ity, tak­ing the party to court. Em­manuel Mtileni has taken the party and the national coun­cil of prov­inces (NCOP) to court and is de­mand­ing to be re­in­stated to the seat he held in the coun­cil for just more than two years.

Mtileni lost his NCOP seat when the EFF sought to re­de­ploy him to a mu­nic­i­pal­ity as a councillor fol­low­ing the Au­gust 3 lo­cal govern­ment elec­tions. He was later ex­pelled from the party for re­fus­ing to va­cate his seat as a per­ma­nent del­e­gate for Lim­popo in the NCOP.

He now wants the court to di­rect the EFF to re­store his mem­ber­ship of the party, to­gether with all the ben­e­fits. He also wants the NCOP to re­in­state him on its pay­roll as an MP.

In court pa­pers, Mtileni de­tails the fi­nan­cial im­pli­ca­tions of his re­moval from Par­lia­ment and how the move has badly af­fected his chil­dren, for whom he could no longer pay tu­ition fees.

Mtileni re­veals that two of his chil­dren, who are in Grade 12, were kicked out of their res­i­dence be­cause he had not paid fees for Novem­ber, nor had he paid for their ma­tric dance. He could not pay for his other chil­dren’s tu­ition – he has a son in Grade 4 and a child in univer­sity – be­cause he has not been get­ting a salary.

Mtileni re­vealed in court pa­pers that his VW Amarok has been re­pos­sessed by the bank.

At a post-elec­tion press con­fer­ence in Au­gust, EFF leader Julius Malema al­luded to an EFF MP who did not want to be re­de­ployed as a councillor be­cause he/she didn’t want to lose their Amarok and that his/her chil­dren were at a pri­vate school.

In court pa­pers, Mtileni re­veals that it all be­gan when EFF sec­re­tary-gen­eral Go­drich Gardee, through a “tele­phonic in­struc­tion”, in­formed him that he would be re­de­ployed to work in the Vhembe District Mu­nic­i­pal­ity as a councillor.

Mtileni al­legedly re­fused to be re­de­ployed and later re­fused to be sworn in as a pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tive councillor in the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

He was then in­structed to no longer take the seat as a councillor and was in­formed through a let­ter that he had been put on tem­po­rary sus­pen­sion.

Mtileni says that, when he was called to ap­pear be­fore a dis­ci­plinary hear­ing, he could not at­tend due to ill health and sub­mit­ted med­i­cal cer­tifi­cates as proof, but the EFF went ahead with the dis­ci­plinary process and he was dis­missed by the EFF’s national ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee on Oc­to­ber 24.

He ac­cuses the party of ig­nor­ing or ne­glect­ing dis­ci­plinary and labour pro­cesses, and of vi­o­lat­ing the Labour Re­la­tions Act be­cause he was not af­forded an op­por­tu­nity to sit be­fore the dis­ci­plinary board.

“My dis­missal was sub­stan­tially and pro­ce­du­rally wrong. Should the in­ter­dict not be granted, I stand to lose all my ben­e­fits. All the fi­nan­cial ben­e­fits have been ter­mi­nated…” he wrote in his af­fi­davit.

Sub­mit­ted as part of the court pa­pers are let­ters from Gardee to Mtileni where, on Au­gust 16, Gardee in­forms Mtileni not to take the seat as a councillor in Vhembe, and the next day in­forms him of his tem­po­rary sus­pen­sion from the party.

Gardee, in the let­ter, cites Mtileni’s re­fusal to be re­de­ployed as a rea­son for his sus­pen­sion.

A national dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee sat in his ab­sence and de­spite his sub­mit­ting four doc­tors’ cer­tifi­cates be­tween Au­gust 29 and Septem­ber 12 as proof that he could not at­tend the dis­ci­plinary hear­ings due to ill health, he was ex­pelled on Oc­to­ber 24 when the national ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee rat­i­fied the dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee’s find­ings and sanc­tions.

De­spite Mtileni’s lawyers writ­ing to NCOP chair Thandi Modise last month to ask that he be al­lowed to con­tinue to per­form his du­ties as a le­git­i­mate mem­ber of the coun­cil, a re­place­ment, Brenda Tirhani Mathe­vula, was sworn in on De­cem­ber 1.

Gardee told City Press that many peo­ple had been re­de­ployed by var­i­ous par­ties from across the dif­fer­ent spheres of govern­ment and this was not unique to the EFF.

Gardee would not com­ment fur­ther be­cause the mat­ter is be­fore the court.

Par­lia­ment had not re­sponded to re­quests for com­ment at the time of go­ing to press.

Modise’s spokesper­son, Tsepiso Shuenyane, said noth­ing pro­hib­ited the NCOP chair­per­son from swear­ing in a per­ma­nent del­e­gate who was prop­erly ap­pointed by a pro­vin­cial leg­is­la­ture.

BAT­TLING Em­manuel Mtileni

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