Rogue councillors to be ousted

2011-04-29 00:00

THE MEC For Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nomusa Dube, yesterday obtained a high court order compelling two municipalities to get councillors who were expelled from their parties to vacate their seats.

This is in line with local government legislation, which states that a councillor who is expelled from his or her party has to vacate the office and is no longer a councillor.

In February the Inkatha Freedom Party advised the Independent Electoral Commission that it has expelled seven of its members who were councillors in the Indaka Local Municipality, and five who were in the Imababazane Local Municipality.

The municipal managers concerned failed or refused to take action. The councillors continue to sit in the councils of these municipalities and participate in their affairs.

Dube said in papers before the court that their continued participation is irregular, illegal and ultra vires and taints the regularity of all resolutions adopted from the relevant dates in February.

The MEC said her department has tried to engage with the municipalities and the municipal managers in the interests of co-operative governance, but they have failed to respond meaningfully.

She said one of the municipal managers said he fearsfor his life, and even with security he is not prepared to declare the vacancies.

Dube said she was left with no choice but to approach the high court for an order compelling compliance with the law. She expressed relief that the order was successfully granted.

This is the second time the MEC has had to approach the high court to compel the Indaka Municipality to act lawfully. On Tuesday Dube obtained a court order stopping any payments from the bank accounts held by Indaka without the authority of a specially appointed administrator.

This followed the council’s refusal to comply with an intervention in the municipality’s affairs after a forensic audit had revealed irregularities.

Dube said it has since emerged that irregularities continue to take place.

— Witness Reporter.

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