Councillors interdict municipality
THREE ANC councillors in Limpopo have obtained an interdict to stop the municipality from removing them from their seats.
The councillors in the Lepelle-Nkumpi municipality in Lebowakgomo had received letters from municipal manager Freddy Ramaphakela informing them that they had been dismissed from the ANC.
But Ramaphakela allegedly failed to inform them of the reasons for their dismissals and did not have the authority to expel them from the party.
He had apparently also misled the Independent Electoral Commission about the dismissals, resulting in the IEC declaring by-elections.
According to IEC regulations, by-elections can only be declared if a councillor had resigned, been expelled from a political party, or died.
But that was not the case with Lehlaga Mphahlele, Tebogo Marema and Matome Mphofela.
After receiving dismissal letters on August 2, the three took the matter up with the Pretoria High Court, which then granted them an interdict against their dismissals.
The interdict, dated August 10, cited the ANC as the first respondent, the IEC as second respondent and the Lepelle-Nkumpi municipality as the third respondent.
The respondents were also instructed to show cause by September 20 why the order should not be made final and also why they should not be ordered to pay for the costs of the application.
The councillor's dismissals allegedly followed their opposition to the extension of Ramaphakela's contract. He was re-appointed for a five-year term last month .
Attempts to get comment from Ramaphakela yesterday drew a blank as he was said to be in a meeting.
ANC spokesman Makonde Mathivha was also not available, neither was IEC electoral officer Nkaro Mateta.