Inkosi seeks court order

2007-12-18 00:00

A high court judge in Pietermaritzburg declined to consider, on an urgent basis, an application by former Nqutu traditional leader Elphas Molefe against Traditional Affairs MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu and Premier S’bu Ndebele.

Judge Piet Koen said on Friday he was not satisfied Molefe had shown grounds for giving just 24 hours notice of the application, or that the urgency was not "self created".

Molefe is embroiled in a dispute with the province over a cabinet resolution — passed in May this year but only served on him on November 13 — in terms of which he has effectively been deposed as inkosi of the Molefe clan at Nqutu and has had all his benefits and remuneration stopped.

An inquiry found him guilty on two counts of misconduct, according to court documents.

Judge Koen said that because he did not intend to shut the door on Molefe’s right to pursue his application, he simply ordered that it be struck off the roll.

Pending an application to the court to review and set aside cabinet’s decision, Molefe asked for an interim interdict preventing the implementation of the resolution, the appointment of another inkosi or the termination of his benefits.

He alleges that he was not given an opportunity to make representations regarding a suitable sanction.

In a replying affidavit, the head of the department of local government, Gacusile Caroline Gumbi-Masilela, said that due to the "extremely short notice" given she had no time to familiarise herself with the files and record of Molefe’s hearing.

She said, however, that Molefe has a "long history as an unsuitable traditional leader".

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