CAPE TOWN - Embattled Bitou municipality councillor Peter Lobese has rejected his suspension from council, saying it is difficult for him to accept the “political ploy” that is destroying his career.
Lobese’s suspension by the municipality in June over allegations of maladministration was last week confirmed at the Western Cape High Court.
Acting Justice Nyati issued an order which suspended Lobese as a councillor of Bitou Municipal Council with immediate effect on September 10.
The court had reviewed local government MEC Anton Bredell’s decision to refuse Speaker Euan Wildman’s request to suspend Lobese as a councillor.
“This related to breaches of the Code of Conduct for Councillors emanating from the section 106 investigation authorised by the MEC for Local Government and the subsequent investigation conducted by the municipality,” said Local Government department spokesperson, Rowena van Wyk.
Bitou municipality’s deputy mayor, Sandiso Gcabayi, said the court’s decision was a victory for residents against “political opportunism”.
“The MEC’s decision was set aside and substituted with a decision suspending Lobese with immediate effect. This means that he will be prohibited from taking part in any council-related activity up until the court is satisfied on good cause shown that his disqualification is no longer warranted.
“Lobese will no longer be entitled to a salary and must immediately return all the municipal assets in his possession,” Gcabayi said.
Lobese on Tuesday said: “The agreement between the DA and ANC (officials) to suspend me without any formal Council Disciplinary Process, or at least be given an opportunity to state my side of the story in the court of law, clearly is a political ploy to destroy my political career and the growth of my party,” the Active United Front member said.
“Since the merits of the case were not presented before the judge, it will be difficult for me to accept this unfair treatment by national and provincial ministers who are supposed to know the laws of the country better.
“The Agreement between DA and ANC ministers is shocking and clearly shows their dictatorship and abuse of power in South African politics. We will dispute this suspension with the contempt it deserves,” Lobese said