Three former African National Congress (ANC) councillors at the Mogalakwena Local Municipality, in Limpopo, have taken the municipality to court to challenge the legitimacy of the council that removed them from their full time positions.

They are also challenging the appointment of the acting municipal manager and deputy manager for corporate services, saying they do not qualify for the positions.

The three councillors were removed by fellow councillors amid political infighting in the ANC in December.

As political infighting between ANC councillors in the council of Mogalakwena Municipality in Mokopane resurfaces, three former councillors have taken the legal route to challenge the council’s decision to remove them as councillors.

Councillor Tlaku Mabu, David Langa and the ousted ANC Chiefwhip, Mike Rapatsa, are challenging the council’s decision to remove them from their full-time positions. They were removed as councillors for not attending council meetings.

They are also challenging the appointment of Jabu Mashamaite in the position of Deputy Manager for Corporate Services and the appointment of Kenneth Maluleka in the position of acting Municipal Manager.

The matter will be heard at the Polokwane High Court on the 14th of March.

Lawyer for the applicants, Sonti Maphoto, says,  “Basically there are three applicants in this regard. The first applicant is Tlaku Mabusane, the second is Langa Lesibana David and the third is Rapatsa Mamkompane. The matter will be in court on the 14th of March 2019,” says Maphoto.

Acting Municipal Manager in the Mogalakwena Local Municipality, Kenneth Maluleka, says they have sought legal counsel.

“We have appointed a team of lawyers to defend the position of the council. I think the matter is on the court papers. We cannot comment on that. I think they have got their position, we have got out position. So, we will let the legal expert to do that at court,” says Maluleka.

ANC Waterberg Regional Spokesperson, Matome Moremi Tauatsoalo, says they expect party members to find solutions internally before approaching the courts.

“They know very well that they have internal remedies they need to exhaust before going to court. But they decided to jump the gun and go to court. We will observe the process because they have taken the municipality to court, not the ANC. The ANC, when it deploys you as a Councillor or as a full-time, they have not asked you why they are putting you there; you shouldn’t be asking why they are removing you. You should not be crying while they are removing you. People are removed everyday. We have just seen the ANC removing mayors,” says Tauatsoalo.

Political analyst, Elvis Masoga, says the reappearance of factions among ANC councillors in the Mogalakwena council does not bode well for the party.

“So, we are surprised now to hear that politics, factionalism and infighting among ANC cadres and leaders in the Mogalakwena Municipality has resurfaced again, because we thought that these are the skeletons of the past. The most dangerous things for the ANC is to become its own enemy. How can ANC leaders and cadres fight among each other,” says Masoga.

A similar situation unfolded three years ago and resulted in the expulsion of 23 ANC councillors from the council.