Court overturns dissolution of City of Tshwane council
The North Gauteng high court has overturned the decision by Gauteng premier David Makhura's executive to dissolve the City of Tshwane council.
Last month, the Gauteng provincial government dissolved the Tshwane council and placed the municipality under administration.
This came after numerous meetings meant to hear a vote of no confidence on the then mayor Steven Mokgalapa and speaker Katlego Mathebe.
A number of other important meetings, including one to elect a new mayor and another to consider the city’s budget, also collapsed because the EFF and the ANC walked out of the meetings.
Former West Rand mayor Mpho Nawa was appointed by Gauteng local government MEC Lebogang Maile as the administrator.
He was due to hold the position for three months until the city held by-elections to elect a new government.
The DA took the decision to court, claiming the move by the provincial government was effectively a coup by the ANC.
In his judgment this week, judge president Dunstan Mlambo overturned the decision to dissolve the city council and ordered councillors of the EFF and ANC to fully attend council meetings.
“The decision of the Gauteng executive council to dissolve the City of Tshwane metropolitan municipality, taken on March 4 and communicated to the applicants on March 10 ... is reviewed, declared invalid and set aside,” said Mlambo in his judgment.
He further ordered that the EFF and ANC councillors can only be absent from meetings if there is a lawful reason for doing so.
But his order is suspended until the level 5 nationwide lockdown has been lifted.
During this period, Mlambo ordered, Nawa would be allowed to continue in his duties.
“The dissolution decision shall have no impact on the entitlement of the councillors of the municipal council of Tshwane to continue to receive their salaries,” added Mlambo.
Mlambo’s judgment means the city will now have to convene a new council meeting where parties would be expected to appoint a new mayor.
It is not yet clear if the ANC and EFF would proceed with their motions to have Mathebe removed.