Gauteng MEC of Cooperative Governance, Lebogang Maile, says he will consult with the Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, on the way forward after the Constitutional Court ruling that he must conduct an investigation into the cause of the council’s deadlock and dysfunctionality in the City of Tshwane.
The ConCourt’s majority judgment found the decision to place the city under administration was unlawful. The capital was under administration for eight months last year after the provincial government dissolved the council when it failed to successfully hold council meetings, after African National Congress (ANC) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) councillors walked out, leaving them without a quorum.
Maile says two minority judgments found the dissolution of the municipal council in the City of Tshwane was not inappropriate. He says all the courts dealing with the case accepted that the council was dysfunctional.
“It is undisputed that all the courts that dealt with this case accepted that the municipal council was dysfunctional and that despite attempts by the provincial government to intervene by taking the appropriate steps to remedy the situation, the dysfunctionality continued unabated. In all the judgments, the Court also accepted that the dysfuncitonality resulted in the public not receiving the service that the Constitution dictates must be provided by the municipality, meaning that the municipality was failing dismally to fulfill its executive obligations,” explains Maile.
Maile says they are studying both the majority and minority judgments as it gives them guidance for the future. Maile says they went to the apex court because they wanted clarity on the interpretation of the law.
“This judgment set a serious precedent for the country in terms of cooperative governance and power of the provinces. And it’s a judgment that we are still going to analyze further. And see if there are loopholes in terms of the law which we might have to sponsor amendments,” Maile adds.
The court ruled that Maile must investigate the cause of the deadlock and dysfunctionality of the council of the City of Tshwane.