DA will fight for Tshwane in the face of ANC, EFF court appeals, says Randall Williams
Pretoria - The African National Congress and the Economic Freedom Fighters are making "a desperate attempt to save face" by appealing the High Court in Pretoria's ruling overturning the Gauteng government's dissolution of the City of Tshwane council, the Democratic Alliance said on Saturday.
On Friday, the DA received notice that the Gauteng provincial government had filed papers at the Constitutional Court for leave to appeal the North Gauteng High Court’s judgment, DA Tshwane mayoral candidate Randall Williams said in a statement.
A separate court application had also been filed by the EFF, who were now also seeking leave to appeal the High Court’s judgment. The filing of these appeals automatically stayed the judgment that was passed declaring that the dissolution of council was unlawful, he said.
As such, until these appeals are dealt with, the dissolution of the Tshwane council remained in effect. Further details on the way forward and the DA’s legal strategy would be provided on Sunday in a Zoom press conference, Williams said.
"It was the DA’s intention to hold a council meeting today, 9 May 2020, to elect a new mayor and to appoint an acting city manager to bring stability to the city and the residents of Tshwane.
It was clear that the provincial government was desperate to stop this, which was why they filed their court application for appeal. It was equally disturbing, yet unsurprising, that the EFF filed an appeal as well, he said.
The original judgment which declared the dissolution of Tshwane unlawful was clear in stating that the problems facing the City of Tshwane were not of the DA’s making, but rather the result of the ANC and EFF councillors repeatedly disrupting and collapsing council meetings and sabotaging the work of the Tshwane council.
"The ANC provincial government and the EFF are approaching the courts in a desperate attempt to save face after the original High Court judgment was so damning of their actions. With the appeals now lodged, the DA cannot go ahead with organising the council meeting as planned. However, we will be approaching the courts this week to have the judgment implemented pending the appeal," Williams said.
The filing of the appeals were an insult to the people of Tshwane, who had been betrayed by the ANC and EFF represented in the city who insisted on playing dirty politics.
It was clear that neither the ANC nor the EFF were prepared to consider any introspection on their disruptive conduct in the city and the role they had played in driving the political instability within the council.
"The residents of Tshwane can rest assured that DA councillors will continue to support and respond to their needs and queries during this trying time," Williams said.
On April 29, Gauteng Judge President Dunstan Mlambo set aside cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) MEC Lebogang Maile's decision on March 4 to place the Tshwane metro under administration.
The court ordered all council members from the ANC and EFF to attend council meetings. Mlambo, who was scathing of the decision by the provincial government, ruled that the order to council members was suspended pending the lifting of level five coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown restrictions.
The DA held that the ANC leadership of Gauteng effectively executed a coup in Tshwane when Maile placed the metro under administration.
- African News Agency (ANA), editing by Jacques Keet