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DA threatens uMngeni municipal manager with court action if he fails to reconvene council

DA mayor-elect for uMngeni municipality Chris Pappas during the swearing-in at Howick Magistrate’s Court on Friday. Picture: Twitter

DA mayor-elect for uMngeni municipality Chris Pappas during the swearing-in at Howick Magistrate’s Court on Friday. Picture: Twitter

Published Nov 13, 2021

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Cape Town – The DA has warned that the uMngeni acting municipal manager has until Monday to reconvene the sitting of the council, or face court action.

This was after the meeting collapsed on Friday.

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The DA had to go to court to get its councillors sworn-in at Howick Magistrate’s Court after suspended municipal manager Thembeka Cibane tried to preside over the session.

But DA chairperson in KwaZulu-Natal Dean Macpherson said on Saturday he had written to acting municipal manager Sandile Buthelezi to reconvene council on Monday for the inaugural sitting, failing which they would go to court.

“Should Mr Buthelezi fail to do so, the DA will approach the Pietermaritzburg High Court on an urgent basis to compel him to call the council meeting. We have also made it explicitly clear that the DA will seek a personal costs order against Buthelezi should we end in court,” said Macpherson.

He said they made it clear to Buthelezi in the letter he was lawfully acting in the position of municipal manager and convening the sitting was within his legal powers.

The DA and EFF had staged a walkout in uMngeni on Friday when Cibane tried to preside over the session.

They said she was on suspension and would not allow her to take over the event.

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The DA took over the municipality after it defeated the ANC at the polls.

Macpherson said they wanted mayor-elect Chris Pappas and his deputy Sandile Mnikathi to get on with the business of running the municipality and not be sidetracked by these events.

UMngeni is the first municipality in KwaZulu-Natal to be taken control of by the DA.

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The ANC had also failed to secure an outright majority in eThekwini, but coalition talks are ongoing with various parties.

The IFP has refused to work with the ANC in the province.

There are a number of hung municipalities in KZN after the polls.

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