Covid-19 extended Tshwane administrator's term in office, ConCourt hears
Johannesburg: The Gauteng government on Thursday told the Constitutional Court that the reason City of Tshwane administrator Mpho Nawa is still handling the municipality's affairs is because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Tembeka Ngcukaitobi SC, who has been representing the government, said Nawa’s term in office, which by law can only be 90 days, has not been extended.
”It’s not the provincial government that extended the stay of the administrator, it’s because the elections could not be held due to the coronavirus,” said Ngcukaitobi responding to Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng’s questions on the legality of administrator overstaying beyond 90 days.
According to Ngcukaitobi, there is an Electoral Court order postponing by-elections because of Covid-19.
In June, Independent Media reported that the Electoral Commission of SA had been granted an additional four months to hold the by-elections scheduled across South Africa between March and May, when the country was under the national lockdown levels with severe restrictions.
The Electoral Court in Bloemfontein extended the authorisation it had earlier granted the commission to hold the by-elections in the affected wards in March to November 18.
”That is no fault of the provincial government. The provincial government is not to blame,” Ngcukaitobi said.
He asked the apex court that the by-elections and Nawa’s stay in office are not issues that should influence it.
Ngcukaitobi said the matter was heard at the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) four weeks ago and that judgment was still awaited.
Gauteng premier David Makhura, his executive council and MEC for Human Settlements, Urban Planning, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Lebogang Maile were at the SCA to challenge the decision by the North Gauteng High Court to give the DA the green light to call council meetings while the provincial government appeal at the Constitutional Court the high court’s earlier judgment reviewing and setting aside its invalid decision to dissolve the council in March.
Ngcukaitobi said the provincial government had no choice but to dissolve the City of Tshwane council as it had all but collapsed.
The matter continues. | Political Bureau