Western Cape High Court judge orders fresh council election in Bitou
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Cape Town - The ANC on the Bitou council have welcomed the Western Cape High Court judgment on the leadership dispute of the municipality which set aside the election of the new council line-up, elected during a contentious special council meeting held on May 19.
Acting Judge Mohamed Salie made a two-part order in the matter in which he prevented the council from implementing any resolutions made since the disputed election and ordered that a council meeting and fresh elections be held on Tuesday, June 8.
The judge also interdicted DA councillors Bill Nel and Nompumelelo Ndayi from occupying the posts of mayor and deputy mayor respectively. He also stopped Active United Front (AUF) councillor Peter Lobese from taking over the speaker’s post.
The second part of the order dealt with the surrendering of minutes and recordings, including video recordings of meetings employing electronic conferencing platforms, to the court.
He said if it became necessary, these would be dealt with in a case to be heard, on a date to be allocated, by the Judge President - or alternatively on the first available preferential date on the semi-urgent roll, and in accordance with a timetable to be agreed upon between the parties.
Welcoming the judge’s order, restored deputy mayor Sandiso Gcabayi (ANC) said: “Our intention as a council led by the ANC is to ensure both administrative and legislative integrity. To this extent the court has vindicated us. The ANC has no desire to hold on to power at all costs and by any means.
“We therefore stand ready to ensure that the election of a new council executive takes place and we would like local government MEC Anton Bredell to immediately take action against councillor Peter Lobese arising from a report made to his office by councillor Nel.”
Responding to the judgment, DA East Region chairperson Tertius Simmers said: “We take note of the A-part of the judgment handed down in the Bitou matter. As a party that believes and respects the rule of law, we shall abide by the judgment handed down.”