The dethroned IFP (Inkatha Freedom Party) Mayor of Umzinyathi district municipality in northern KwaZulu-Natal says he is not going to take the issue of his sacking lying down.
Petros Ngubane says he has since instructed his legal team to start preparing court papers to challenge the matter in Pietermaritzburg High Court.
Two weeks ago, Ngubane and eight other councillors mainly from the IFP were sacked as public representatives in the Umvoti local municipality in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. As a result of that sacking, Ngubane stands to lose his mayoral chains at the district level as he is a seconded councillor from the local municipality.
Their sacking comes after a special ethics committee found them guilty of walking out of council sittings and absenteeism on three occasions.
One of the cited cases of walking out is the June 29, 2023 special council sitting convened by a representative of Cogta MEC where the ABC (Abantu Batho Congress) and the ANC ousted the IFP (Inkatha Freedom Party) from power through a vote of no confidence.
The committee recommended that they should be fired because they breached their oath of office and service to the people who elected them.
Upon receiving and studying the recommendations of the committee, the MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) in the province, Bongi Sithole Moloi, ratified the decision.
She said they should be expelled and she notified the IEC (Electoral Commission of South Africa) of the decision, thus declaring vacancies.
Now, Ngubane is having none of it, saying the way they were fired has “a lot of loopholes” hence he is filing court papers to challenge it.
“I can assure and tell you that today our lawyers are taking this matter up… they working, compiling the papers to have this matter set aside by the high court in Pietermaritzburg.
“Although this matter is still sub-judice, I can tell you that there are a lot of loopholes in this, this was not done fairly,” Ngubane said.
Ngubane added that his legal team was working to ensure that the matter is heard this week so that their sacking is not implemented and cripple service delivery in their wards.
Five of the nine councillors are from wards and should their sacking be upheld in court, there would be by-elections to replace them.
The other four would be replaced by their parties without a need to go to the polls as they proportional representative councillors.
The Mayor of Umvoti, Philani Mavundla, said they no longer have anything to do with Ngubane and the other expelled councillors and they would not accord any special treatment.
"We have been made aware that they have been informing everyone that they are heading to court, as a council we have played our party and handed the file with the council's majority recommendation to the MEC to make a determination in terms of the code of conduct for councillors schedule 7a section 36 act 3 of 2021.
"As a council, we will abide by the court ruling," Mavundla said.