The High Court in Pretoria will on Thursday hear arguments in an urgent application by the Democratic Alliance (DA) to stop the removal of Mayor Stevens Mokgalapa and Speaker Katlego Mathebethe after the case was postponed on Tuesday.
The case was earlier postponed to allow the African National Congress (ANC) to study documents of an additional application by Mokgalapa, acting Mayor Abel Tau, Speaker Katlego Mathebethe and councilor Zweli Khumalo to join the proceedings.
The DA launched the main application after Mokgalapa and Mathebethe were ousted when a controversial motion of no confidence against them was passed earlier this month.
DA Gauteng Chairperson Mike Moriarty says their application is to have the special sitting declared null and void.
“Our papers appeal to the fact that there is a Speaker in place. What had happened on the day was unlawful and that they physically ejected a person who was a valid acting speaker. They should have allowed the matter to proceed. They did not and that we should not be here for the court to come down heavily on the conduct of that particular council and for that particular meeting be totally null and void,” says Moriarty.
Meanwhile, the ANC in Tshwane has criticised the DA’s application as ‘being all over the place’.
The Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs in the ANC controlled province had earlier presided over a council meeting and resolved to allow the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the ANC to nominate EFF councillor Obakeng Ramabodu to act in the speaker’s role but the court temporarily set aside that resolution.
“The ANC said look we are not against submission of any papers if the judge so allows. What we did is that we took those papers, our lawyers said they will respond to the papers tomorrow. We will file a responding affidavit. I will do the affidavit myself as the first founding affidavit I’ve done. The case of the DA is all over the show,” says Kgoshi Maepa, who is the ANC’s Tshwane regional chairperson.
The lawyer for the Economic Freedom Fighters says the DA has no case.
EFF regional chairperson Moafrika Mabogwana explains, “I think that the DA is applying delaying tactics. They don’t have any case hence they have brought new applications which also speaks about an acting mayor. It must be very clear that we have not passed, a motion of no confidence against an acting mayor. We have passed a motion of no confidence against the mayor,” explains Mabogwana.