Paul Notyawa

Johannesburg - The ANC has been drawn into a legal battle with a member who has told the Constitutional Court that the governing party rescinded his appointment because he was not its favoured cadre.

Eastern Cape lawyer Paul Notyawa is taking the Makana Local Municipality to the apex court following its decision not to appoint him municipal manager in 2015, after the ANC suspected he was part of the National Union of Metalworkers of SA’s United Front (UF).

Notyawa has told the court that the ANC, which governs the municipality, backtracked on his appointment as it suspected that since he was part of the UF, he would not toe the party line when performing his duties.

“The only plausible explanation for the decision to revoke the earlier appointment is that it was suspected by the ANC that the applicant was part of the United Front and may not, in performing his functions objectively, toe the party line,” Notyawa’s heads of argument filed on July 3 read.

He has also denied allegations by the municipality in Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown) that his appointment was illegal.

“The purported conclusion that the applicant’s appointment was not in conformity with the legal requirements was clearly because he was not considered a favoured ‘cadre’, and is further strengthened by the first respondent’s (Makana’s) role in undoing the resolution confirming his appointment,” Notyawa said.

He said the political involvement constituted an unauthorised and unwarranted intervention in the affairs of the municipality.

According to Notyawa, a month before his appointment was confirmed by the mayor, the ANC’s regional and provincial executive committees attempted to pressure him to withdraw his candidacy.

Notyawa said the ANC forced him to withdraw his candidacy, but he subsequently made an about-turn, resulting in the party suspending him, a decision which was overturned on appeal.

“The only plausible explanation and conclusion that can be drawn from this is that the allegation that the applicant lacked sufficient managerial experience was an afterthought designed to mask the true and unlawful reason,” he said.

Notyawa earlier approached the Eastern Cape High Court, but in 2017 his application was dismissed. His application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal was also unsuccessful last year.

The municipality is opposing ­Notyawa’s application.

The Concourt will hear arguments in the matter in September.

Political Bureau