Axed coun­cil­lors must pay le­gal costs – ANC


THE ANC in the North­ern Cape stated that it would re­cu­per­ate le­gal costs of around R1.4 mil­lion from nine for­mer ANC coun­cil­lors af­ter the North­ern Cape High Court yes­ter­day dis­missed the coun­cil­lors’ ap­pli­ca­tion to be re­in­stated at Sol Plaatje Mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

The nine coun­cil­lors were ex­pelled from the ANC in Oc­to­ber af­ter they “brazenly de­fied” a man­date from the party to vote in Patrick Mabilo as the new Sol Plaatje ex­ec­u­tive mayor.

“The coun­cil­lors pro­voked di­vi­sions which im­pacted neg­a­tively on the im­age of the ANC and com­pro­mised the unity of the ANC by vot­ing with the op­po­si­tion. The coun­cil­lors par­tic­i­pated in fac­tional ac­tiv­i­ties, acted in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the op­po­si­tion and col­luded and worked with the le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the op­po­si­tion, in op­po­si­tion to Matika, in a court mat­ter that had found that the meet­ing to pass a mo­tion of no con­fi­dence in Matika was il­le­gal,” ANC re­gional sec­re­tary, Web­ster Dich­aba, said at the time.

This week, the nine coun­cil­lors made an ap­pli­ca­tion to the North­ern Cape High Court for an ur­gent in­ter­dict to pre­vent their re­moval from Sol Plaatje Mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

How­ever, act­ing North­ern Cape High Court Judge Sieber­ha­gen de­liv­ered judg­ment yes­ter­day and dis­missed the ap­pli­ca­tion.

The ANC pro­vin­cial sec­re­tary, Deshi Ngxanga, said yes­ter­day that the party had noted the out­come of the mat­ter in the Kim­ber­ley High Court fol­low­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion of the ex­pelled coun­cil­lors to chal­lenge the de­ci­sion of the re­gional dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee.

“We are sad­dened that this mat­ter had come to a sit­u­a­tion where we were left with no op­tion but to fol­low through with dis­ci­plinary ac­tion in ac­cor­dance with the ANC con­sti­tu­tion. This fol­lows nu­mer­ous at­tempts by the lead­er­ship of the ANC in the Prov­ince and NEC de­ploy­ees to find an am­i­ca­ble so­lu­tion to the im­passe at Sol Plaatje Mu­nic­i­pal­ity. We were forced to de­fend the in­tegrity and unity of the ANC cau­cus that had been di­vided by per­sonal in­ter­est. The out­come of the court has vin­di­cated the ANC in terms of the un­der­stand­ing and ap­pli­ca­tion of the con­sti­tu­tion,” Ngxanga said.

He added that the nine ex­pelled coun­cil­lors would be re­spon­si­ble for pay­ing the ANC’s le­gal fees, which are es­ti­mated to be around R1.4 mil­lion, fol­low­ing the court or­der and they would not be al­lowed to rep­re­sent the ANC “any­where”, whether in coun­cil or leg­is­la­ture.

Ngxanga said that the party’s prepa­ra­tions for the by-elec­tions, to re­place the ex­pelled coun­cil­lors, had “started in earnest”.

“We will soon be con­ven­ing com­mu­nity meet­ings to choose can­di­dates who will dis­play high lev­els of self­less­ness, ded­i­ca­tion to the peo­ple and com­mit­ment to the ANC,” he said.

Ngxanga con­cluded by say­ing that ser­vice de­liv­ery by the mu­nic­i­pal­ity had been ne­glected for “too long”.

“We wish to forge ahead with a num­ber of the pro­pos­als that we are go­ing to make to our cau­cus, to be pre­sented to coun­cil. This in­cludes that there should be a mora­to­rium on the block­ing and dis­con­nec­tion of elec­tric­ity for reg­is­tered in­di­gents in the mu­nic­i­pal­ity, that the mu­nic­i­pal­ity must go on a drive to reg­is­ter new in­di­gents for those that are not yet reg­is­tered and to deal with in­fra­struc­ture chal­lenges with par­tic­u­lar ref­er­ence to the roads in­fra­struc­ture, sewage spillages and the re­cur­rent wa­ter out­ages at night.

“It is our fer­vent hope that this will al­low all of us to give space to the Sol Plaatje Mu­nic­i­pal­ity to re­turn to nor­mal­ity and sta­bil­ity in or­der to give ser­vices to the peo­ple. The de­gen­er­a­tion of the in­fra­struc­ture in the mu­nic­i­pal­ity is a mat­ter that the mu­nic­i­pal­ity must pri­ori­tise.”

ANC pro­vin­cial sec­re­tary Eric Deshi.

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