Issue of Umvoti mayor’s sacking in court

2008-09-08 00:00

An advocate representing the ANC Umvoti council caucus has conceded that the manner in which Umvoti Mayor Petros Ngubane was purportedly voted out of office on April 24 is “fraught with difficulty” as no prior notice was given.

However, presenting argument on behalf of the ANC caucus and 20 ANC councillors in the Pietermaritzburg High Court yesterday, advocate Sandile Kuboni said the matter should be resolved by way of a council meeting, or if necessary “properly brought back before the court”.

Kuboni yesterday argued before Judge Shyam Gyanda that he ought to dismiss an application for a declarator in favour of Umvoti Municipality (represented by speaker Hitler Maharaj) declaring the resolutions taken at the April 24 meeting, including the removal of the mayor, to be of no force and effect and declaring Ngubane to be the mayor of the municipality.

He maintained that Maharaj has no standing to bring the application. He also argued that the meeting at which the events unfolded properly re-convened as the speaker had rung the bell.

Judge Gyanda questioned during the argument whether this was in fact so, since Maharaj’s version was that he left the chamber to follow the mayor because he was ill, and that the meeting had not reconvened.

Advocate Rob Seggie for Umvoti Municipality, argued that legislation provides that council cannot sit without a speaker or an acting speaker having been elected to preside.

Judge Gyanda has reserved judgment in the matter.

The dispute arises from a budget meeting of majority IFP-Umvoti council on April 24. After the lunch break several IFP councillors did not return to the council chambers and the ANC in their absence voted on a number of issues.

These included a reduction in the proposed rates increase from 12 to six percent, and to scrap the budget for purchases such a as a new car for the mayor and items of ceremonial dress.

They also passed a vote of no confidence in the mayor.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.