The mayor of the Ingquza Hill municipality in the Eastern Cape’s Transkei region, Pat Mdingi has been arrested.

This after the municipality failed to rebuild 38 houses it illegally demolished at New Rest Township in 2016.

The High Court in Grahamstown had issued an order for the arrest of mayor for contempt of court. The order stipulated that failing to rebuild the houses within the stipulated time, would lead to the mayor and municipal manager serving 30 days in prison.

Ingquza Hill Speaker, Ntandokazi Capa believes the mayor’s arrest is premature.

“We are aware that there was a court decision that we must reconstruct the houses within a period of 10 days. If we don’t do that we’ll be in contempt of court. As far as we know, the 10 days was not yet at the end. At the same time there was nothing that says you have not managed to do what you were supposed to do therefore your mayor will be arrested.”

“There is nothing that informs about that. Despite that, as a municipality we are very committed in making sure that what has been instructed by the court we will do. As a result, we have already appointed a service provider to construct those houses,” says Capa.