Suspended BCM councillor ready for legal battle
A suspended Eastern Cape ANC councillor has given the ruling party until Wednesday at midday to lift her suspension or prepare for a face-off at the labour court.
This follows the ANC provincial executive committee’s decision to suspend Buffalo City Metro ward 20 councillor Ntombizodwa Gamnca, following complaints lodged against her. Residents accused Gamnca of defrauding them of thousands of rands when she allegedly sold them houses and failed to deliver the title deeds or the houses. A criminal case has also been opened against her.
The ANC announced that residents had come forward claiming to have been defrauded by the ward councillor.
Two weeks ago, the ANC provincial executive committee member and head of BCM deployees, Loyiso Magqashela, announced that proportional representative councillor Ncedo Kumbaca would hold the fort while Gamnca served her suspension.
However, Gamnca is not taking her suspension lying down as she instructed her lawyer, Andile Mtyalela of Majeke Mjali Attorneys, to drag the party to court, if need be.
Mtyalela confirmed writing a letter addressed to ANC provincial secretary Lulama Ngcukayitobi, saying not only was Gamnca not given time to respond to the allegations, but “the allegations contained in your [Ngcukayitobi] letter is vague and embarrassing” as it did not have detail for “our client to respond thereto”.
“It is not clear whether the suspension is as contemplated in the provisions of the labour relations act or whether it is a precautionary suspension. However, such a suspension is illegal, unlawful and falls to be set aside on the grounds that the rules of the natural justice have not been followed,” Mtyalela wrote.
He said he hand delivered the letter to Ngcukayitobi’s office on Monday morning.
However, Ngcukayitobi, said he had not received it.
“The ANC will respond once we have it,” said Ngcukayitobi.
Gamnca was also found guilty of charges of robbery and intimidation and slapped with a R10,000 fine at the East London magistrate’s court last month.
She also received a four-year suspended sentence.Last week, the IEC and the provincial co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) said no political party had the authority to suspend an elected ward councillor.IEC provincial spokesperson Julie Stanworth stated that: “There is nothing in law that makes provision for the appointment of an acting ward councillor.”Cogta spokesperson Mamkeli Ngam said parties could only discipline their members on party matters – not governance.“Only the MEC can suspend a councillor,” he said at the time...