Johannesburg - The six EFF councillors who were dismissed by the party for voting with the ANC plan to file court papers to halt their removal from the Mogale City Council on Friday.
This is after their attempt to file for an urgent interdict at the High Court in Gauteng was dismissed on Thursday for lack of urgency. Their matter will now be heard under the normal court roll.
A budget vote at the Mogale City Council in July landed the group in hot waters with their party. The six were slapped with charges after they allegedly voted with the ANC during a budget vote at council. This is after they were apparently instructed not to attend the meeting.
The six’s suspension was made official at the weekend after a disciplinary process was concluded. The party has written to the Mogale City Council notifying it of the councillors’ removal.
Advocate Katleho Mofokeng, who represents the group, said their argument that the councillors were not given a fair hearing by not being allowed to argue for a mitigation of sentence still stands.
“These councillors were not afforded the opportunity to call witnesses and state their claim, and that on its own contravened the rules of natural justice. Secondly, after the DC sat and decided to find them guilty, immediately before they could go to the issue of expulsion, they were supposed to be called to come and mitigate and give their personal circumstances,” said.
Mofokeng said if normal rules were followed, the outcome would have been different.
The party said in voting with the ANC the group betrayed their party and voted for corruption.
But the councillors have denied that they voted with ANC and have accused their party officials of lying to the public.
One of the expelled councillors, Eric Baloyi, said he was not given a fair trial and accused the party of relying on hearsay.
“The party is misleading the public, we did not vote with the ANC. There was no voting on that day. There are two means of voting, you can either vote with a show of hands or you can vote with a secret ballot – which never happened,” said Baloyi.
“The party is just dealing with hearsay. If only they can go and obtain the minutes of the particular meeting. Then they will realise that there was no voting,” said Baloyi.
The group has notified the party of their intention to appeal their expulsion.