Union to challenge mayor over appeal

Kingdom Mabuza

Kingdom Mabuza

The intention of the Johannesburg mayor Amos Masondo to appeal the prepaid water judgment and his attitude towards the judge who presided over the matter has angered workers.

The South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) said Masondo's announcement that the council would contest the court's ruling prohibiting the installation of prepaid water meters in Soweto would be challenged.

"To contest the judgment will be wasteful expenditure. The amount that will be spent on legal costs can be used to provide basic services to the community," said Samwu spokesman Dumisani Langa.

Masondo said on Wednesday that the council's appeal would be set out systematically in legal argument. He attacked Judge Moroa Tsoka, saying he should not interfere with the government.

He said Tsoka should consider resigning as a judge and join a political party if he wanted to run the country.

Langa said Samwu found it astonishing that Masondo had resorted to attacking Tsoka.

"We all need to accept that there is a separation of powers between the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. Masondo's statement undermines the independence of the judiciary."

He said Samwu believed the courts had every right to interfere with decisions taken by the executive if such decisions were unconstitutional and unlawful.

"It can never be said that the judiciary is taking over the role of government if, in fact, what they are doing is interpreting the law correctly."

Judge Tsoka ruled that prepaid meters must be scrapped in Soweto, because they are unconstitutional and unlawful.