Why ANC’s right not to vacate Tlokwe offices

Following the North Gauteng High Court decision yesterday to dismiss African National Congress’s application to declare unlawful a council meeting in Tlokwe Municipality which resolved to elect Democratic Alliance’s Annette Combrink as a mayor, I commended the provincial government decision to respect the court ruling.

In a tweet yesterday commending the ruling party, I said: “I applaud and commend the ANC North West for respecting the decision of the North Gauteng High Court on the Tlokwe debacle. Thank you”. Maybe that came out very soon. This tweet led to DA’s ChrisHattinghDA asking whether it had to take a high court judgement to “force #ANC to respect a democratic election” – something he found not applaudable.

Of course I tried to explain this only referred to the ANC “challenging of the outcome of the meeting which made everything after it wrong” and that while this may be “shocking [but] they were still within their constitutional rights and still are to do do (sic). And even at appealing.” Which it what it now intends doing, according to media reports today.

In his statement following the court ruling, ANC North West spokesperson, Kenny Morolong, said the ruling party “respects the judgment ….. which sets aside the application to rescind the decision taken by an irregular council meeting convened by opposition parties collaborating with expelled ANC councillors in Tlokwe.” He said the ruling was proof that ours is a judiciary system whose “ability [is] … to dispense justice without fear or favour.”

It is however quite sad to learn through other media reports that ANC’s now ousted Tlokwe mayor, Maphetle Maphetle, will not be vacating his mayoral office as ordered by the North Gauteng High Court yesterday. Instead, he will remain in that office pending the outcome of his appeal, said Morolong. According to the Times Online Maphetle and the council speaker, Barei Segotso, have decided to appeal the ruling and the party supports them. Which of course there’s nothing wrong with.

It still remains unclear whether their action (failure to abide by the Court ruling, and thereby vacating their offices) is as illegal as DA’s provincial spokesperson, Tiaan Kotze, claims it is. And while this sends a message that ANC only respects court rulings favour it, it is however my informed opinion that until such time all legal avenues through the courts have been exhausted – however long it takes – the ruling party is still within not to vacate the Tlokwe mayoral offices until then…

3 thoughts on “Why ANC’s right not to vacate Tlokwe offices

  1. Combrink was briefly elected as mayor by only one vote after a vote of no confidence in ANC mayor Maphetle Maphetle was passed in November last year.She was ousted last month when the ANC-led council reinstated Maphetle, despite allegations of corruption in Tlokwe and a pending court application by the DA.The DA maintains the manner in which Combrink was removed from office was irregular and contrary to the council’s own rules of order.They launched a sharp attack on municipal speaker Barei Segotso, alleging she had “failed dismally” in her duties, ignored the oath she took and had caved in to the demands of fellow ANC councillors.Counsel for the DA, Francois Botes, yesterday argued that Segotso had already made a ruling that the motion of no confidence in Combrinck had lapsed but had irregularly resurrected the motion and placed it on the agenda because of political pressure. He argued that the council was compelled to strictly comply with its own rules, including that motions had to be circulated to all councillors at least five days before it could be tabled and discussed. The rules provided that any decision to oust a mayor should have been suspended in the light of the pending review application in the High Court.The DA launched a review application in the High Court the day before Combrinck was voted out.The council’s senior advocate, Mac van der Merwe, however, argued that the allegations against Segotso were defamatory and should be struck off the court record. He argued that there had been substantive compliance with the rules of order and that the court should not interfere. The DA and the ANC both maintain it is in the public’s best interest of their candidate remaining in office.

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