eThekwini deputy mayor Philani Mavundla loses bid to be reinstated

Ousted eThekwini deputy mayor Philani Mavundla has lost his court battle to be reinstated.
Ousted eThekwini deputy mayor Philani Mavundla has lost his court battle to be reinstated.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

The Durban high court has dismissed former eThekwini deputy mayor Philani Mavundla's application to interdict the council removing him.

Mavundla wanted the court to review and set aside its December 13 decision to remove him as an executive member of the council and deputy mayor. The previous day, the same court granted an interim order against his removal pending council speaker Thabani Nyawose complying with council rules regarding the removal of a mayor or deputy mayor.

A difference in the interpretation of judge Philip Nkosi’s ruling saw Mavundla, after his ousting, go back to court to ask it to enforce that interim order, with Nyawose opposing his application on the basis that the council had complied with the rules.

On Friday, judge Mokgere Masipa ruled in favour of Nyawose and the municipality.

Nyawose said it was never in doubt that the rules had been followed in the handling of the urgent motion.

“The judge never said that the speaker should not table the motion. He said ‘you can only do that if you are in compliance with the rules of order and the relevant legislation’. We were surprised to hear that we were in contempt,” he said

“We are vindicated because the commitment we made from the beginning of our term last year was that we would do everything in this council according to the rules and regulations. We are very pleased as the council. We are ready to start the new year and fill all the vacant positions in the executive and make sure that we continue to deliver services to our communities.”

Reacting to the judgment, Mavundla’s Abantu Botho Congress (ABC) said it accepted Masipa’s ruling.

“The ABC respects and accepts the court’s ruling and confirms that councillor Philani Mavundla will henceforth be joining the opposition benches as an ordinary member of council and leader of the ABC,” said party secretary-general Phumelele Phahla.

“The ABC looks forward to the resumption of council in the new year, where it will continue to be the voice of the voiceless.”


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