Cape Town - Andile Lili is taking his battle to be reinstated as a councillor to the Constitutional Court, taking on two cabinet ministers, an MEC and the City of Cape Town.
He wants the court to grant him leave to appeal against the Western Cape High Court’s decision upholding his expulsion and to challenge the constitutionality of a section of the Local Government Municipal Systems Act.
He was expelled as a proportional representative of the ANC last year, following a probe by a multiparty disciplinary committee. He was found to have unlawfully intervened in the city’s housing allocation process by instructing a Khayelitsha resident to move out of her home, participating in the illegal demolition of another resident’s home, and making derogatory remarks to two community members.
The committee recommended to Local Government MEC Anton Bredell, who had the final say, that Lili be dismissed.
Lili took the high court decision to the Supreme Court of Appeal, without success. In papers filed with the Constitutional Court on August 7, he argues that the powers given to the MEC are unconstitutional and that the section of the act used in his disciplinary hearings is inconsistent with the constitution. He says the section, which deals with breaches of code of conduct, gives the MEC wider powers than those afforded to MECs by the constitution.
“The impugned provisions constitute an impermissible and unconstitutional intervention in the affairs of a municipality and thus fall to be declared invalid.”
Such powers could lay a “fertile ground for the abuse of political power by the members of the provincial executives”.
Lili lists as respondents the chief officer of the Electoral Commission of SA, Mosotho Moepya, Bredell, Minister of Co-operative Governance Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development Michael Masutha and council Speaker Dirk Smits, among others.
In an answering affidavit filed last Tuesday, Bredell said it would not be in the interests of justice for the court to grant Lili leave to appeal. He said the codes that Lili disputed had not been used in the disciplinary action against him. Declaring them invalid “would be of no assistance to him in his review application”.
The council had investigated “serious breaches” of its code of conduct, held a disciplinary inquiry, then requested that he remove Lili from office, Bredell said.
Lili was incorrect in contending that the power of MECs was “unrestricted” and infringed on the municipality’s autonomy because he had acted only in response to a request from the council.