Gauteng government takes Tshwane Municipality matter to ConCourt

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The Gauteng Provincial Government has petitioned the Constitutional Court in its appeal against the Pretoria High Court’s decision to set aside the dissolution of the Tshwane Municipality.

Earlier this year, Gauteng Premier David Makhura and Cooperative Governance Minister Lebogang Maile dissolved the municipality and put it under administration.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) took the matter to court, saying it was politically motivated and the Pretoria High Court ruled in its favour.

 ”After consulting with our legal counsel, we have decided to appeal the decision as we are of the respectful view that the court erred in several respects. We are still of the view that the reasons for the Exco’s (Executive Committees) decision to dissolve the Tshwane Municipality Council are very solid with clear merit as contained in the dissolution notice. Both Minister of Cogta (Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and NCOP (National Council of Provinces) were persuaded by the same reasons hence their concurrence,”  says Gauteng Cogta MEC Lebogang Maile.

Reading out a carefully-worded statement by the Gauteng government, Maile said the Pretoria High Court had erred in its judgement.

The MEC said the court wanted to rewrite Section 139 of Constitution. ”The judgement introduces and imposes two additional requirements to Section 139 of the Constitution based on the unreported judgement of other courts such as there must be an unfulfilled executive obligation. The High Court was quick to find that a municipality’s constitutional and statutory obligations are not always executive obligations under Section 139. But the High Court never explained the difference.”

The hung council of Tshwane was paralysed by the collapse of the DA and the Economic Freedom Fighters coalition and the scandal involving its former mayor Stevens Mokgalapa who resigned in February this year.

In March, the Gauteng government put the municipality under administration citing failure to convene a number of council meetings.

In the video below, Premier David Makhura announces the provincial government’s decision to dissolve the Tshwane Municipality: 

It also instructed that a by-election be held within 90 days. The day for the appeal before the Constitutional Court is still to be set as the country is still on lockdown following the COVID-19 pandemic.