ANC Tshwane court challenge to be heard in November

2018-10-23 18:46
ANC Tshwane regional chairperson Dr Kgosi Maepa.

ANC Tshwane regional chairperson Dr Kgosi Maepa.

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Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga has slammed the ANC for missing a deadline in its own urgent court application to have last month's council sitting set aside, but ANC Tshwane chairperson Dr Kgosi Maepa refuted the claim.

READ: D-Day for Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga as motion of no confidence gets under way

Maepa approached the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria earlier this month to have the council's September sitting nullified after a motion of no confidence in Msimanga, brought by the ANC, was unsuccessful. The ANC also asked the court for an order allowing the vote to take place via secret ballot after Tshwane speaker Katlego Mathebe disallowed this.

Who missed the deadline?

In a statement on Tuesday, Msimanga said the matter was supposed to be heard in court on Tuesday, based on timelines given by the ANC, but the ruling party did not adhere to its own timelines.

However, Maepa claimed in a replying affidavit that this was not true.

He said his attorneys informed him that the original founding affidavit had been lost and was not filed at court.

Msimanga was not impressed.

"This is indicative of just how seriously Dr Maepa takes his own court application and points to what little confidence he and his team have in this matter," he said.

"Dr Maepa clearly has no regard for the court's time and has exposed his panic in the process, if the claims of misplacing the papers are indeed to be believed."

ANALYSIS: EFF wags the dog in Tshwane, NMB

Msimanga reaffirmed his belief that the urgent application was without basis and that it was a desperate attempt to use the courts to usurp the processes of council.

Maepa told News24 that the DA and Msimanga were hypocritical after they were the first to ask for an extension which was granted and which, in turn, gave the ANC more time to file their replying papers.

He added there was no court date for Tuesday but that the ANC, along with legal representatives for the speaker, the executive mayor and the DA, met with Deputy Judge President Aubrey Ledwaba.

"If the ANC missed the court deadline, there won't be a need to see a judge," Maepa pointed out.

He added that he was in possession of a court order, which would have also not been made if the ANC missed its deadline.

'Improper exercise of discretion'

In the ANC's court papers, it said that Mathebe's refusal to allow a secret ballot vote was an "improper exercise of the discretion afforded to her" and called for resolutions adopted at the September 27 sitting to be set aside.

"There is now a situation where members of council fear for their safety and cannot vote freely," Maepa said in his affidavit.

Authority to institute legal proceedings

The ANC also responded to Msimanga's answering affidavit, which questioned whether Maepa had been given the authority to launch the court application on behalf of the ruling party.

In court papers, ANC secretary general Ace Magashule authorised Maepa to "sign and execute all documents and do all necessary things that may be required to give effect to the legal action instituted by RW Attorneys and to sign all legal papers relating to said matter".

A second document, signed by ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe, noted that a national executive committee (NEC) meeting held in January this year, resolved that Magashule and ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte had the authority to institute and defend legal proceedings on behalf of the party.

In the statement, the said the Da employed a cheap and desperate tactic to challenge the locus standi of the ANC as well as the attorney's right to represent the ANC.

The ANC in Tshwane said that the matter has been postponed to November 26 and 27 because the application required a special allocation to be set down for two days.

GladAfrica saga

The ANC's motion, in part, relates to the ongoing GladAfrica saga.

GladAfrica, an engineering company, and the City have been at the centre of allegations of tender irregularities for the past two months, following reports that it scored a R12bn deal to provide the City with project management support.

In a statement by the ANC in Tshwane on Tuesday, the party said they would be sending a letter to Msimanga, demanding that the City put the GladAfrica tender award on review.

"The DA and the executive mayor are acutely aware that the award to GladAfrica was improper," the statement read.

"In fact, they are intending [to fire] the City manager (Moeketsi Mosola) on exactly this point. If they refuse to take the tender award to GladAfrica on review, it will indicate and confirm that the DA supports corruption and that its public pronouncements on fighting corruption are nothing more than cheap politicking and a mere PR stunt."

Previously, Msimanga said the City was investigating the tender and that he gave notice of his intention to Mosola.

Mosola has denied the allegations, saying all processes were above board and in line with the Municipal Finance Management Act.

In August, Msimanga survived his first motion of no confidence by default. The motion, brought by the EFF, was dismissed on a procedural point by Mathebe. The ANC also brought a motion which was supposed to be heard during the same sitting.

But the motion was not heard after the EFF staged a walk-out.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  solly msimanga  |  tshwane

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