The former deputy mayor of eThekwini municipality, Philani PG Mavundla has scored a temporal victory in the Pietermaritzburg High Court after it was ruled that he cannot be removed as the president of the party he founded.
The court ruling also barred the Umvoti (Greytown) local municipality in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands from removing him as a councillor and mayor, a position he assumed in June this year.
Mavundla had to dash to the court after the national disciplinary committee (NDC) of his party, the ABC (Abantu Batho Congress) ruled that he should be expelled for allegedly misusing party funds and arbitrarily firing councillors.
NEWS: ABC President Philani Mavundla has obtained an interim court order putting in abeyance the decison of the DC led by Vusumuzi Dladla to have him expelled from the party he founded. Umvoti local municipality where Mavundla is the Mayor cannot remove him as well. @IOL pic.twitter.com/KWdajUsaNB— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) September 20, 2023
Mavundla denies the allegations and he says the structure is illegitimate and cannot take such a decision.
After the decision to expel him, the national chairperson of the ABC, Bhungu Gwala, wrote to Noxolo Ndaba, the municipal manager of Umvoti and said Mavundla had been expelled and should vacate the ABC’s position.
It was that letter that prompted Mavundla to seek the interdict from the Pietermaritzburg High Court.
The court ruled in his favour and ordered Gwala and others to show cause by October 30, as to why the interim order barring them from expelling Mavundla as the president of the ABC should not be made final.
The court order also barred Ndaba, the Speaker of Umvoti council and the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) from acting against Mavundla until the issue of the matter is determined by it.
“Suspending the operation and execution of the decision of the First to Fifth Respondents (Sifiso Mlaba, Vusumuzi Dladla Busisiwe Khoza, Sibusiso Khoza and Sabelo Sithole) referred to in paragraph 2.2 above, to terminate the Applicant's (Mavundla) membership of the ABC, pending the final determination of this application and the application under case number 12834/2023P by this Honourable Court and all attendant appeal processes either in this Court or any other Court in the Republic of South Africa,” reads the interim court order.
Mavundla said he was relieved that the court has ruled this way.
The spokesperson of the ABC NDC, Xolani Memela, said they are still studying the ruling.
“However, I can tell you that there is a possibility that we will file our opposing papers for the court,” he said.