Home News Axed councillors must pay legal costs – ANC

Axed councillors must pay legal costs – ANC

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The ANC in the Northern Cape stated that it would recuperate legal costs of around R1.4 million from nine former ANC councillors.

ANC provincial secretary Eric Deshi. Picture: Danie van der Lith

THE ANC in the Northern Cape stated that it would recuperate legal costs of around R1.4 million from nine former ANC councillors after the Northern Cape High Court yesterday dismissed the councillors’ application to be reinstated at Sol Plaatje Municipality.

The nine councillors were expelled from the ANC in October after they “brazenly defied” a mandate from the party to vote in Patrick Mabilo as the new Sol Plaatje executive mayor.

“The councillors provoked divisions which impacted negatively on the image of the ANC and compromised the unity of the ANC by voting with the opposition. The councillors participated in factional activities, acted in collaboration with the opposition and colluded and worked with the legal representation of the opposition, in opposition to Matika, in a court matter that had found that the meeting to pass a motion of no confidence in Matika was illegal,” ANC regional secretary, Webster Dichaba, said at the time.

This week, the nine councillors made an application to the Northern Cape High Court for an urgent interdict to prevent their removal from Sol Plaatje Municipality.

However, acting Northern Cape High Court Judge Sieberhagen delivered judgment yesterday and dismissed the application.

The ANC provincial secretary, Deshi Ngxanga, said yesterday that the party had noted the outcome of the matter in the Kimberley High Court following the application of the expelled councillors to challenge the decision of the regional disciplinary committee.

“We are saddened that this matter had come to a situation where we were left with no option but to follow through with disciplinary action in accordance with the ANC constitution. This follows numerous attempts by the leadership of the ANC in the Province and NEC deployees to find an amicable solution to the impasse at Sol Plaatje Municipality. We were forced to defend the integrity and unity of the ANC caucus that had been divided by personal interest. The outcome of the court has vindicated the ANC in terms of the understanding and application of the constitution,” Ngxanga said.

He added that the nine expelled councillors would be responsible for paying the ANC’s legal fees, which are estimated to be around R1.4 million, following the court order and they would not be allowed to represent the ANC “anywhere”, whether in council or legislature.

Ngxanga said that the party’s preparations for the by-elections, to replace the expelled councillors, had “started in earnest”.

“We will soon be convening community meetings to choose candidates who will display high levels of selflessness, dedication to the people and commitment to the ANC,” he said.

Ngxanga concluded by saying that service delivery by the municipality had been neglected for “too long”.

“We wish to forge ahead with a number of the proposals that we are going to make to our caucus, to be presented to council. This includes that there should be a moratorium on the blocking and disconnection of electricity for registered indigents in the municipality, that the municipality must go on a drive to register new indigents for those that are not yet registered and to deal with infrastructure challenges with particular reference to the roads infrastructure, sewage spillages and the recurrent water outages at night.

“It is our fervent hope that this will allow all of us to give space to the Sol Plaatje Municipality to return to normality and stability in order to give services to the people. The degeneration of the infrastructure in the municipality is a matter that the municipality must prioritise.”