Court finds that More should not be the Acting Municipal Manager of the Mangaung Metro.Image : Facebook
Court finds that More should not be the Acting Municipal Manager of the Mangaung Metro.Image : Facebook

Mangaung metro now a ‘City of Sewage’

By Sifiso Mahlangu Time of article published Jan 11, 2022

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THE residents of Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, Free State, are in for an ominous new year.

The appointment of the Acting Municipal Manager, Sello More, has been ruled to be illegal and null and void by the High Court of Bloemfontein.

This was despite the last-minute effort of the MEC of Cogta, Mxolisi Dukwana’s attempts to regularise the appointment of More and circumvent the fact that the municipal council had failed to extend More’s initial appointment which ended on October 30.

Free State High Court Judge AJ van Rhyn delivered a scathing judgment on December 15 after he found that More was no longer the Acting Municipal Manager of Mangaung as his extension had not been approved in line with the applicable legislation.

“We are deeply concerned about the fact that More is still in charge despite this judgment. He negotiates and enters into multimillion-rand contracts on behalf of a bankrupt Mangaung, but his appointment is null and void,” a member of the metro council said on the basis of anonymity.

It was a court application that More, on behalf of the municipality, launched against the executive head of Municipal Police Services, KI Kgamanyane, to prevent Kgamanyane appointing new officials and promoting current law enforcement officers, that exploded in the face of More and the metro.

Not only did Mangaung lose the application, but Judge Van Rhyn ordered More to explain on oath by February 4 why he personally should not face a punitive cost order. Judge Van Rhyn found not only that More’s acting appointment lapsed on October 31 and was not lawfully extended, but also that More embarked on this litigation without the authority of the Mangaung Municipality, citing 145 respondents.

Pressed to present his authority from the municipality to engage in litigation, More conceded that he had none. The court was not impressed and found against the municipality. Despite this, More is still the acting municipal manager of the Mangaung metro.

Service delivery in Mangaung is at an all-time low. In many areas sewage is running down the streets and dangerous potholes are the order of the day.

“The City of Roses is now the City of Sewage,” said an ANC insider, who declined to be named, adding that “More and Dukwana are in the anti- Ace camp and their faction of the ANC cannot afford to let More go, despite this court judgment. They will probably appeal the judgment to play for time”.

The Star has since established that the Mangaung metro launched an appeal against the judgment of Judge Van Rhyn claiming that the Court of Appeal “may come to a different conclusion” from that of Judge Van Rhyn.

“I believe that the matters in question are subject and part of the appeal processes and therefore sub judice. I request that we allow this part of the litigation processes to be concluded without me uttering on what is before courts,” More said.

Responding to questions posed by The Star, More said he was appointed by council and that his current appointment has nothing to do with the judgment.

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