The DA in the City of Joburg has welcomed the Gauteng High Court, Johannesburg, judgment which on Monday upheld the ruling on the appointment of city manager Floyd Brink.
The ruling was handed down by the acting judge of the High Court, Judge Steven Budlender, who upheld a previous ruling after the City filed an application for leave to appeal against the ruling of the same court that declared Brink’s appointment “unconstitutional, unlawful and invalid”.
Brink was appointed in February this year under the administration of former mayor Thapelo Amad, with the DA challenging his appointment in May.
Joburg caucus leader Belinda Kayser-Echeozonjoku recently claimed that Brink did not meet the minimum requirements of the job specifications, which mandated 10 years of senior management experience.
Kayser-Echeozonjoku, indicated that the party’s goal has always been to safeguard the citizens of Joburg against the illegal conduct of coalition partners in the city.
“The Democratic Alliance in Johannesburg’s victory against the now-ex Johannesburg City Manager, Floyd Brink has been upheld by the high court in Johannesburg. Judge Budlender not only dismissed the leave to appeal, but did so with the costs of two councils, paid for by the residents of Johannesburg,” Kayser-Echeozonjoku said.
The DA argued last week that the city council’s recent sitting was nothing but a waste of taxpayers’ money and instead called for the dissolution of the entire council later this month.
“While the executive has wasted hundreds of thousands of rand in this cumbersome legal process, the city continues to slide down the hill. Our goal has always been to safeguard the citizens of Johannesburg against the illegal conduct that the ANC/EFF/PA Doomsday Coalition is so well known for. This underscores that commitment to constitutionality and the rule of law,“ she said.
Last week, the DA boycotted the extraordinary sitting that elected Margaret Arnolds as the new speaker and called for the entire city council to be dissolved in order to make way for an all-new city council including the appointment of a new city manager.
“Having considered the three grounds of appeal raised during oral arguments and the remaining grounds raised in the application for leave to appeal and the heads of arguments, I am of the view that: the proposed appeal bears no prospects of success, and there is no other compelling reason for leave to appeal to be granted… I therefore make the following order: The application for leave to appeal is dismissed with costs, including the costs of the two counsels,” Judge Budlender said.
The ruling is a setback for the ANC-EFF coalition running the council, which has a budget of R80.9 billion for the 2023/24 financial year. It is not yet clear what action the City would take. Joburg metro spokesperson Nthatisi Modingoane did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
“The appointment of the city manager was yet another example of a corrupt regime, trying to deploy yet another one of their cadres. This is the reality of the City of Johannesburg, and the reason they are failing.
“When our motion to dissolve the city’s council is debated, every party will have to decide what they are comfortable with. Their conscience should dictate whether they are willing to allow this vapid syndicate to continue their mismanagement of the City of Gold,” the DA said.