A division in the Madibeng municipality has erupted after the municipality lodged an urgent application in the Pretoria High Court this week to prevent the North West department of local government and traditional affairs to place it under administration.
Upon hearing about the application, a majority of councillors in favour of administration have in return brought an intervention in the case between Madibeng municipality and the department before the High Court , saying that they are in favour of the municipality being placed under administration and accusing the municipal manager (who represents the municipality in the application) of not acting according to the resolution.
Councillors requested a council meeting this week to discuss the MEC of local government and tradition affairs China Dodovu’s announcement that the municipality is placed under administration from next week. However, according to numerous councillors the Komorant spoke to, the request was denied by the Madibeng speaker.
“On top of it, the council rooms were closed with additional security guards guarding the entrances. Councillors were locked out of the council room and not allowed in,” one said.
Councillors learned on Monday night about the intended application the next day.
However, councillors objected in the High Court on Tuesday, bringing the intervention in the case between the municipality and the provincial government.
The case was postponed until Friday.
In the mean time, according to the office of MEC Dodovu the plan is still for the appointed administrator and his team to take office at the Madibeng municipality on Monday as planned.
When announcing the intervention, the MEC said it follows the inability by the municipality to fulfil its executive obligations in terms of the Constitution. Three scheduled meetings with the municipality were postponed two weeks ago after which MEC Dodovu went ahead with a press conference announcing the provincial government’s decision.
Madibeng municipal manager Monde Juta yesterday confirmed the court action and said the municipality brought the application in order to “regularise the provincial department’s procedures and to seek information regarding the reasons for the intervention.”
“The MEC never met with the municipality to inform us and discuss the intervention,” Juta said.
He said the municipality does not need a mandate from the council at this time. “We seek information from the department and will take that back to the council.”
Regarding the cost of the application, he said the account will be for the municipality but he hoped the court will order it for the North West province.