Court removes ANC councillors as mayor, deputy mayor and speaker of Cederberg

2019-07-22 18:15
ANC provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs with Bertie Zass as he signs his ANC membership forms. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

ANC provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs with Bertie Zass as he signs his ANC membership forms. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

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The Western Cape High Court ruled on Monday that the election of ANC councillors Sylvia Qunta and Marianne Nel as mayor and deputy mayor of the Cederberg Municipality, respectively, was unlawful.

On June 26, at a dramatic council meeting where former DA councillor and speaker Bertie Zass voted with the ANC before resigning from the DA, DA mayor William Farmer and ADC deputy mayor Francina Sokuyeka were ousted through a motion of removal. 

Qunta and Nel were then elected as mayor and deputy mayor and Paul Strauss as speaker.

Zass has since joined the ANC.

The DA claimed the proceedings were unlawful, and asked the court to review and then set it aside.

Acting Judge Fred Sievers delivered his judgment on Monday, in which he ordered the removal of Qunta, Nel and Strauss from their positions. He also ordered that Farmer and Sokuyeka be reinstated. 

He also ruled any decisions taken by the trio were unlawful and should be set aside.

Furthermore, he ordered Qunta, Nel, Strauss, Zass and ANC councillors Lorna Scheepers and Evelyn Majikejela to carry the cost of the proceedings.

DA Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madikizela welcomed the ruling.

"This is a victory, not only for the DA, but for the people of the Cederberg who, through their vote, elected the DA to govern the municipality. If the ANC wants to govern they must be elected democratically by the people of the Cederberg," he said in a statement.

"The DA will not participate in the ANC’s unlawful proceedings to overthrow the council in an attempt to gain power and access to municipal funds.

"We will fight for the rule of law and good governance in the Cederberg and Western Cape."

Madikizela added it was "further encouraged" that the ANC councillors and Zass were responsible for the costs.

ANC Western Cape spokesperson Dennis Cruywagen said the party was studying the judgment before it would comment. 

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Read more on:    anc  |  western cape  |  politics
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