Municipal by-elections progressed well in different parts of the country with an exception of ward 20 in the Buffalo City Metro. This by-election was cancelled as the incumbent councillor obtained a court interdict against her removal from the Buffalo City Council by the Cogta MEC, Xolile Nqatha.
MEC Nqatha fired Ntombizodwa Gamnca after she was convicted for robbery and intimidation in the East London Magistrate’s Court. Gamnca was given a four-year suspended sentence and a R10 000 fine.
She was fired for contravening the Councilors’ Code of Conduct. Gamnca wants the court to review Cogta’s decision to fire her.
The Independent Electoral Commission had to cancel the by-election scheduled to replace Gamnca. Ward 20 resident, Xolani Peter says he is satisfied that the elections were called off as it would have been a fruitless exercise.
“I think it’s a waste of time to elect a new councillor because councillor Gamca knows every priority of Ward 20, the needs of the wards she knows because every community meeting, the community tell the story of the ward, what we need in this ward.”
Peter says there has been a lack of service delivery in the community:
Cogta provincial spokesperson Mamnkeli Ngam says they are also seeking legal advice on this matter. “In as far as the BCM councillor in question, Cogta Eastern Cape remains determined to ensure that the code of conduct for councillors is implemented to ensure there is good governance in our municipalities and to that effect, we are seeking a legal opinion in as far this matter is concerned.”
The African National Congress (ANC) in the province says it has suspended Gamnca from any activity of the party. The party spokesperson Loyiso Magqashela says, “As the ANC we are still firm that the councillor remains suspended, we would not want to see her participation in our caucuses and of course ANC activities in the branch, in our caucuses. We have not be directed by any court of law to reinstate her. Therefore if she is reinstated she will not be there representing African National Congress.”
Gamnca referred all questions to her lawyer. Attempts to get a comment from her lawyer were unsuccessful.