Durban - The IFP will continue to be at the helm of the Nongoma local municipality which it is fighting tooth and nail to retain amid a fierce onslaught from the ANC-EFF-NFP who aim to co-govern it.
This was after the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Wednesday ruled that the status quo must remain until the matter of the sitting, convened by a representative of the KwaZulu-Natal department of co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta), late last month is ruled upon.
WATCH: Mayor of Nongoma municipality, Albert Mncwango, says they are vindicated after the initially interim Pietermaritzburg High Court ruling, which set aside his dethroning, was upheld. Some of the parties failed to argue why it should not be made a final order. @IOL pic.twitter.com/dIQZEQdt0I— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) March 22, 2023
This means that the IFP mayor, Albert Mncwango, and his speaker, Prince Bheki Zulu, will stay in power until the matter has been finalised by the court.
Late last month the municipality took KZN Cogta to court, arguing that due processes were not followed and the meeting that ousted Mncwango and others was illegal.
The court ruled in the IFP's favour, declaring that anyone purportedly elected as speaker and mayor is interdicted and restrained from holding the said positions of authority.
This was pending submissions (by March 20) from all involved parties why the interim order should not be made a final court ruling.
JUST IN: The first move to remove the IFP Mayor of Umvoti (Greytown) local municipality in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands has been launched. The party does not enjoy an outright majority as it leads a fragile coalition that ousted the ANC in November 2021. @IOL pic.twitter.com/Wf5AdLmQAY— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) March 22, 2023
On Wednesday the court said the order still stands pending the final determination of the matter at a later date.
After the court’s ruling, Mncwango said they feel vindicated by the decision of the court. It proves them right and that the MEC for KwaZulu-Natal, Bongi Sithole-Moloi, was wrong.
“It is a vindication of what I have always maintained ... that the minister (MEC) acted outside the scope of her authority.
“And it is a vindication of what I have always maintained even the day they were here (to convene the sitting that temporarily dethroned him),” Mncwango said.
Meanwhile, the first move to remove Gabriel Malembe, the IFP mayor of Umvoti (Greytown) local municipality in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands has been launched.
A notice advertised in local media said the sitting to debate the motion would be on Thursday (March 23).
Video: Sihle Mavuso/IOL
However, IOL learnt that it may not proceed after a dispute ensued over how the motion was filed, with others arguing it was filed with the wrong office and should not be debated.
The IFP does not enjoy an outright majority in the municipality; it leads a fragile coalition that ousted the ANC in November 2021.
The IFP-led coalition was further weakened last month when the EFF pulled out of its coalition with the IFP, leaving several municipalities in the province vulnerable to a takeover by the ANC, aided by the EFF and the NFP.