Cape Town - Axed ANC councillor Andile Lili intends appealing against a Western Cape High Court decision to dismiss his application challenging his expulsion from the City of Cape Town.
Lili briefed the media on the steps of the high court on Thursday after Judge Andre le Grange found that Local Government MEC Anton Bredell’s decision to expel Lili was justified. He confirmed that he would be appealing against the court’s decision on Thursday.
In his ruling, Judge Le Grange said: “There was nothing in (Lili’s) representations to persuade the MEC that any other sanction was appropriate.
“Moreover, (Lili) does not contest the validity of the sanction imposed by the MEC in his heads of argument. In fact, the National Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, and a member of the same political party as (Lili), went so far as to state in his affidavit that (Lili) was properly removed from office as a result of the transgression he was found guilty of.”
Lili was expelled from the City of Cape Town in March after a multiparty disciplinary committee found him guilty of taking part in the illegal demolition of houses in Khayelitsha and of making derogatory remarks to Khayelitsha residents.
The committee agreed unanimously on Lili’s expulsion and his fate was sealed when Bredell rubberstamped the committee’s decision. The former councillor approached the court claiming his expulsion was not merited but was used to settle a political score.
He also challenged the constitutionality of the section of the Municipal Systems Act which gives Bredell the power to expel city councillors.
But Judge Le Grange did not find in his favour. “I find the challenge cannot succeed and dismiss it with costs,” Judge le Grange said. In welcoming the verdict, Bredell said the decision sent out a strong message that, if proper processes were followed, discipline would be enforced in municipal councils. The MEC also welcomed the fact that Judge le Grange had dismissed the application with costs.
Bredell’s office earlier this month, during a reply to questions in the provincial legislature about legal cost incurred by the department in recent years, revealed that the Lili application, which cited the MEC as a respondent, was already standing at just over R433 000.
City of Cape Town Speaker Dirk Smit said the city had anticipated that the court would rule against Lili and was happy with the findings.