The Department of Eastern Cape Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs has taken a decision to appeal the judgment of the Mthatha High court which granted former King Sabatha Dalindyebo Local Municipality councillor Mr Mbongeni Mabaso an interim order interdicting both the MEC and the municipality from effecting his removal from the council.
Mr Mabaso was removed from the council for allegedly violating Item 2 (b) of the schedule 1 -Code of Conduct for Councillors of the Municipal Systems Act. He was accused of being involved in the following illegal activities:
- Fraud and Corruption – A community member of ward 4 alleged that
Councillor Mabaso owe her an amount of R 25 000 which was transferred
to his account after he promised to sell her an RDP house and evidence to this
effect is available.
- Housing Development Projects – It was alleged that a housing project for 50 housing beneficiaries was identified for Ward 4 in 2016 upon which Councillor Mabaso and submitted a list without consultation from ward stakeholders.
- Food Parcels – The community alleged that Councillor Mabaso favours his friends and political associates for provision of food parcels. There was no consultation with ward committees and CDW when selecting beneficiaries.
- Remuneration of non-functional Ward Committees – It was alleged that Councillor Mabaso failed to convene ward committee meetings as from early 2019 thereby making the ward committee structure redundant. Irrespective of this all ward committees still get their out of pocket expenses at the end of the month although there are no ward committee meetings convened as prescribed by law.
The MEC and the municipality were not given notice before the interim order was granted. To make matters worse there was no affidavit or evidence recorded before this order was granted. Todate no opportunity has been granted to MEC and the municipality. The municipality wanted reconsideration of that order because it was unclear. The judgment of the 27 of October confirms that it had no record to do reconsideration but ironically dismissed the application.
CoGTA MEC Hon. Xolile Nqatha said, “Having consulted our legal team, we are of the firm view that a different court may come to a different outcome hence we decided to appeal this judgment”.
“My pre occupation is that the public and vulnerable groups get protected from any form of wrong doing by those who claim to represent them. In this case I have chosen to take the side of the community than my comrade,” said MEC Nqatha.
For further information, please contact:Mr Makhaya Komisa (MLO) on 0663818259 or Mr Mamnkeli Ngam (Department spokesperson) on 071 685 7981