Pretoria – The DA has asked the Supreme Court of Appeal to order that the decision by the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, to overturn the dissolution of Tshwane council be implemented immediately.
Speaking during a virtual briefing yesterday, DA spokesperson on co-operative governance and traditional affairs Cilliers Brink said: “Judge President Dunstan Mlambo, speaking for a full Bench, also slapped ANC and EFF councillors with an order compelling them to attend council meetings.”
He said their disruption of meetings was what had caused the crisis in Tshwane’s governance. “Gauteng and the ANC then appealed this, and in terms of our law, the effect of an appeal is to suspend the implementation of the judgment being appealed.”
The DA then applied for Judge Mlambo’s judgment to be implemented immediately on the basis of urgency. “This second judgment – to make the judgment immediately enforceable – was also given in our favour. But the second judgment, too, was appealed by Gauteng and the ANC, and this is what is going to be heard in the Supreme Court of Appeal on Monday.”
Brink argued that the only credible explanation for the province invoking section 139(1)(c) of the Constitution, reserved for “exceptional circumstances”, was that this was an ANC ploy to grab back the power the party lost in 2016. “The pretext for provincial intervention was created by ANC and EFF councillors who disrupted council meetings and broke quorum. This was a clear violation of the statutory code of conduct for councillors.”
He said Monday’s day in court would be crucial, and they expected a judgment soon thereafter.
“But as important as the court case is, it is also important for the South African people to know what is going on under the cover of administration in the nation’s capital.”
During the briefing, DA leader John Steenhuisen said at present Tshwane had no one to check on the management of the metro, including tenders, expenditure, court cases and contracts.
“DA ward councillors continue to help communities with service delivery problems, but until a court outcome, they have no official standing when speaking to municipal officials. And there is no elected mayor down the line of accountability.
“Sewage is running down some of Tshwane’s main streets, but the municipal workers meant to fix the problem are either on strike or on go-slow.”
He said water leaks and electricity outages that used to be fixed in 24 to 48 hours, now took weeks, while DA councillors tried their best to share the little information they received.