Gauteng MEC of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Lebogang Maile believes it is in Tshwane residents’ best interest for the provincial government to appeal the Pretoria High Court’s decision to quash the dissolution of the metropolitan council.
On Thursday Maile, on behalf of the Gauteng executive committee, announced that they would appeal the court’s decision to set aside the decision to place the metro under administration.
He said they wanted the Constitutional Court to clear up the confusion about the powers of the provincial government to intervene in municipal affairs.
“The court’s interpretation of what constitutes executive obligations, we would respectfully submit, was completely misconstrued, given the crisis of service delivery in Tshwane arising out of the political instability and governance collapse, resulting in human rights crisis such as the Hammanskraal water crisis,” Maile said.
The MEC said he believed the executive stood a chance of getting the decision overturned in the Constitutional Court.
“The executive committee holds that another court, more specifically the Constitutional Court, as the final arbiter will overturn the decision of the [Pretoria] High Court, based on strong merits of our decision,” he said.
Maile said the executive committee’s decision to place the embattled metro under administration was not politically motivated but in line with the provincial government’s mandate.
Responding to the DA’ s criticism, Maile said his aim was never to please them. “I have been an MEC since 2010 and the DA has never liked me. I think they are racist, they do not have the best interests of our people [at heart],” he said.
In anticipation of Maile’s move, the DA’s provincial chairperson Mike Moriarty said during a virtual media briefing that Maile “is nothing short of an embarrassment for the ANC and keeps digging a hole for himself”.
Moriarty said the party would continue to oppose Maile’s questionable decisions. He said they had written to Gauteng Premier David Makhura many times pleading with him to fire Maile.
Meanwhile, the DA announced that it would be forging ahead with the election of a mayor and the appointment of an acting municipal manager on Saturday.
It’s mayoral candidate Randall Williams said that the DA had an agreement with council members about the Saturday election.
More than 200 councillors are expected to attend a special council sitting on Saturday, despite the national lockdown regulations which ban large gatherings.
Williams said the party caucus was 100% behind his candidacy. He presented his vision for governing the metro, which included a plan to contain the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus.
Williams reiterated that the DA leadership had to step in and help change the often-chaotic council sittings which were disrupted by the ANC and EFF councillors.
“We believe national leaderships have seen how destructive the behaviour [of those parties] was and adversely affected service delivery in the city of Tshwane and no one comes out of this looking good,” he said.
Last week, the Pretoria High Court overturned a decision by the provincial government to dissolve the capital city’s council.
The court found the move to be unlawful, with Maile being chastised for his poor handling of the matter.
The ruling stipulated that a council sitting ought to be convened five days after the administrator, Mpho Nawa, exited the office on April 30.
But Maile on Thursday insisted that Nawa would stay on during the appeal process.