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An Eastern Cape lawyer who accused several ANC bigwigs of blocking his appointment as a municipal manager of the Makana local municipality has finally lost his lengthy fight for the job.

The Constitutional Court dismissed Paul Notyawa’s application for leave to appeal an earlier Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) judgment on Thursday.

In a unanimous judgment, Justice Chris Jafta found that the municipality in Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown) has been without a permanent manager since 2015 and that this impacted negatively on service delivery for its residents.

Justice Jafta found that Notyawa can no longer obtain the relief he sought and by law he cannot be appointed Makana municipal manager.
According to the judgment, the municipality has had no less than four acting municipal managers to date despite the law stating that each acting appointment may not exceed six months.

Notyawa, an ANC member, was requested by the party to withdraw his application for the job but he declined leading to his expulsion, which he later successfully appealed.

The ANC also accused him of being part of the United Front.

But Justice Jafta said there was no evidence of this.

Notyawa had accused former Eastern Cape Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Fikile Xasa of intervening politically and abusing his powers.

This was after he was summoned to a meeting with Xasa and former Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane and told that ANC councillors collaborated with their DA counterparts in council to have him appointed municipal manager.

Notyawa’s court papers stated that Xasa told him to write a letter declining the appointment because he was an ANC deployee.

The court also found that since Notyawa raised constitutional issues he should not be ordered to pay the respondents’ (Makana and Eastern Cape Co-Operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Xolile Nqatha’s) costs as both are organs of state.

Notyawa lost his Eastern Cape High Court application to review and set aside Xasa and the municipality’s failure to appoint him, stopping its filling of the position due to his unreasonable delay in launching the action and the matter being moot.

His SCA petition was also dismissed for lack of prospects of success.

Political Bureau