IFP man in legal victory

2013-05-15 00:00

THE high court in Pietermaritzburg has granted a declaratory order confirming the status of the IFP’s Petros Ngubane as a councillor of Umvoti (Greytown) Municipality.

The order was granted yesterday by KwaZulu-Natal Judge President Chiman Patel after the municipality, its mayor, Philani Mavundla, and municipal manager B.A. Xulu withdrew their opposition to the order being granted.

The court declared Ngubane to be a councillor since July 4 last year and interdicted the municipality, Mavundla and Xulu from preventing him from carrying out his duties as a councillor.

Xulu was further ordered to ensure that Ngubane is paid his salary and benefits due to him as a councillor, backdated to July 4, 2012.

Umvoti Municipality, Mavundla and Xulu were ordered to pay the costs of the application.

According to court papers, Ngubane was appointed to fill a vacancy for an IFP proportional representation councillor with effect from July 4.

He had served as a councillor from 2000 to 2011 while he was employed as a school principal.

It was submitted that several other councillors serving the Umvoti Municipality are also employed at government schools.

However, the municipal manager, Xulu, objected to Ngubane’s election on the basis that he needed permission to act as both a councillor and principal.

Ngubane subsequently obtained permission from the Department of Education, but the objection was not withdrawn, because, it was said, his work and duties as councillor may clash.

Ngubane again wrote to the department and undertook to apply for leave if it happened that his duties as councillor conflicted with his work as a principal.

Although he was granted approval by the department on September 27 last year, the municipality continued to raise objections, resulting in the court application.

It was alleged in the papers that the motive for the opposition was “political” and was “rooted in the enmity” that existed between Mavundla and Ngubane.

• ingrido@witness.co.za

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