The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called for democratic governance to resume in the City Tshwane Metro Municipality as the party’s legal battle with the African National Congress (ANC) in the region continues. A full bench of judges held a virtual court sitting, led by Judge President Dustan Mlambo, into the DA’s section 18(3) application to restore the Tshwane Council.

This is after the DA approached the High Court in Pretoria demanding its power back. The party wants to force the ANC in the region as well as the Gauteng provincial government to accept April’s High Court judgment.

Last month, the High Court ruled against Premier David Makhura and CoGTA MEC Lebogang Maile’s decision to dissolve the metro. The Gauteng government is appealing the High Court’s decision.

DA’s provincial chairperson Mike Moriarty is hopeful the full bench sitting will once again rule in the party’s favour.

“We are saying we can’t wait for that process and by all means, governance must proceed even while they are expecting the court to overturn the judgment that was in our favour. This is even if it is an adverse judgment in an appeal or Constitutional Court or Supreme Court of Appeal that must be decided. The fact of the matter is that we want the councillors to be in office rather than the un-elected administrator.”

In the video below, Makhura places City of Tshwane under administration: 

Legal representative for the Gauteng provincial government, Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, has argued that if the DA’s application would be granted the biggest losers would be the residents.

“If not dismissed for want of exceptionality, it should be dismissed for want of irreparable harm. The greater that we can see, the real calamity that we can see is that as soon as the council is back the logjam will be back and the services will simply be discontinued. It’s unclear who ultimately benefits; maybe the politicians benefit but the residents of Tshwane do not benefit that outcome.”

The on-going legal disputes have forced over 200 councillors from the DA and the opposition in Tshwane to stay away from work.

The DA argues that there is no need to keep the administrator in power, while the councillors are sitting at home and not being able to execute their constitutional duties pending the appeal by the Tshwane ANC and the ANC-led provincial government.

Makhura’s administration wants the court to dismiss the DA’s application with costs, saying there is no pressing reason for the immediate implementation of the judgment that set aside the decision to put Tshwane under administration.

Judgment in the matter has been reserved.