Court grants DA urgent interdict to halt 'unlawful' Ekurhuleni council meeting

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Ekurhuleni Council Chief Whip Kheta Shandu (left) and Speaker Raymond Dhlamini. Photo: Johan Brits
Ekurhuleni Council Chief Whip Kheta Shandu (left) and Speaker Raymond Dhlamini. Photo: Johan Brits
  • The DA was granted an urgent interdict to halt a council sitting in Ekurhuleni. 
  • The party brought the application ahead of the start of the sitting, which was scheduled to resume at 10:00. 
  • The special council meeting was called by Ekurhuleni's City manager.

The Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg granted the DA an urgent interdict to halt a special council sitting of the Ekurhuleni Metro. 

The DA and council Speaker, Raymond Dhlamini, filed an urgent application to prevent the sitting of the Ekurhuleni council, which the City manager, Imogen Mashazi, had called for 30 January. 

The urgent court application was argued two hours ahead of the start of the special sitting at 10:00 on Monday. 

Dhlamini is facing a motion of no confidence, which seven minority political parties had brought to the Ekurhuleni council.

Dhlamini confirmed to News24 that the court had granted his office an interdict, and the Ekurhuleni council sitting could not go ahead.

He said he could now continue his duties as Speaker. 

The DA councillor said the court heard arguments that his actions were in line with his duties.

Mashazi had presided over the special sitting, but cancelled it shortly after it resumed following the interdict. 

READ | DA, Ekurhuleni council speaker file urgent court action to halt special council sitting

The urgent court matter was preceded by a chaotic council sitting on 26 January. 

Dhlamini had, on 26 January, presided over a council sitting which had included an agenda item on his fitness to hold office. 

A no confidence motion in Dhlamini was filed by smaller opposition political parties. When the motion was to be heard, there were chaotic scenes as councillors clashed with council staffers. 

Dhlamini said that, while he witnessed the scenes, he had no choice but to postpone the sitting, to probe the motives behind the violence. 

On 27 January, he wrote to political parties to seek a rescheduling of the council meeting, stating it was important that a caucus meeting with political chief whips be held before another council meeting was called. 

In his affidavit accompanying the court application, Dhlamini explained it was necessary for "safety and democracy" that a probe took place to ensure councillors were never injured in council. 

While Dhlamini shifted the time-frame for the next sitting, Mashazi approved a request from some political parties to hold a special sitting on 30 January. 

Dhlamini said Mashazi had acted unconstitutionally and unlawfully.

He argued: 

There is no basis for the City manager to call or chair a meeting under the Municipal Structures Act. The City manager had no authority to act as she did. Her powers were not triggered as the fundamental jurisdictional requirements needed to be met.

"I am advised that the City manager's decision to call the meeting was procedurally irrational. She acted unlawfully in calling the meeting for 30 January," Dhlamini argued.

The court interdict was expected to form the first line of defence in the DA's bid to bring a formal court application against Mashazi's actions. 

Ekurhuleni is a hung municipality, with no political party holding a majority in the council.

The DA governs the metro in a minority coalition with the African Christian Democratic Party, Cope and Freedom Front Plus. 

Last year, the mayor, Tania Campbell, was briefly ousted in a motion of no confidence brought by the ANC.

A political dispute between the ANC and the EFF ensured Campbell was re-elected as mayor after the two parties failed to clinch an agreement.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Show Comments ()
Voting Booth
Are you still optimistic about the future of South Africa?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes, I believe the potential is still there
19% - 755 votes
No, I feel we cannot reverse the damage that has been done
49% - 1989 votes
I will only be able to say after the 2024 elections
32% - 1300 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.