DA wins another round in battle for control of Tshwane council
The DA has won a bid to have a previous court ruling, setting aside the dissolution of the City of Tshwane council, implemented.
This comes after the party approached the North Gauteng High Court seeking an order that its judgment, passed in April, be implemented and not remain suspended.
The ruling is being contested by the Gauteng provincial government at the Constitutional Court and that would have suspended its implementation. But this week’s ruling effectively means that the city can elect a new mayor.
In April the court ruled that the dissolution of the Tshwane council by the provincial government was illegal.
The dissolution came after a number of collapsed council meetings in the city due to ANC and EFF councillors walking out of meetings. This left the city with no mayor, mayoral committee or municipal manager.
April's judgment then compelled councillors of both the ANC and EFF to attend all council meetings and remain present to prevent them from collapsing.
DA mayoral candidate in the city Randall Williams said on Wednesday that the latest court ruling was a “major victory”.
“This is a further indictment of the ANC provincial government, its premier David Makhura and its MEC Lebogang Maile, who have systematically undermined governance in Tshwane.
“The high court has further emphasised the unlawfulness of the province’s decision to place Tshwane under administration. This judgment sets a vital precedent for the many councils for which leadership is won against the ANC by minority governments in next year’s elections,” said Williams.
He said the judgment preserves the constitutional requirement that municipalities should be run by representatives of the people without fear of “bullying or interference” by any provincial government.
“The court found that exceptional circumstances did exist to warrant that Maile’s administrators be removed from governing the city, though the judge noted that the acting city manager would remain in place.
“Maile’s strategy to grab power in the city has failed dismally. The court found that the residents of Tshwane would suffer irreparable harm if the administrators were allowed to stay in office any longer,” he said.