Another blow for DA as application to remove Kimberley mayor dismissed with costs

Kimberley Mayor Mangaliso Matika. Picture: Kimberley municipality.

Kimberley Mayor Mangaliso Matika. Picture: Kimberley municipality.

The judge found incorrect procedure was followed to remove the Sol Plaatje municipality’s top man last month.

The DA’s bad week just got worse after the Northern Cape High Court dismissed their application to remove Sol Plaatje mayor Mangaliso Matika, with a costs ruling against them.

After Matika refused to step down as mayor last month, demanding that “proper process be followed”, he was ordered by the Northern Cape High Court to temporarily pack his bags.

He viewed the attempts for his removal as unlawful. The new mayor was temporarily Pula Thaba.

Handing down judgment on Wednesday, Judge President Pule Tlaletsi stated that the council meeting was convened without giving the required 24 hours’ notice, and Matika was apparently unaware of the motion of no confidence against him.

He declared that the special council meeting as well the decision to remove Matika was invalid and unlawful. He ordered the DA to pay the legal costs of Matika’s interdict to overturn the council meeting.

In a statement that followed, DA Northern Cape provincial leader Andrew Louw said they noted the judgement passed down by Judge President Pule Tlaletsi but “respectfully disagree with the conclusions that the court drew in the matter” and would be “consulting with our legal team to explore our options going forward”.

“The fact still remains that a majority of councillors have adopted a lawful motion of no confidence in Matika, which was prompted by years of poor leadership culminating in widespread protests and a shutdown of the city. Matika’s poor governance, which has been characterised by corruption and the collapse of service delivery in Kimberley, has led to a large-scale loss of faith in his ability to lead the city.

“It is time for Matika to stop clinging to power blindly, but to step down and to allow for the election of another mayor, as per the lawful motion of no confidence passed.

“In the meantime, as we respect the rule of law, we ask the community to remain calm. Matika’s abysmal leadership has sparked violent protests in the recent past, during which residents were denied access to much-needed government services, children were prevented from going to school and businesses suffered extensively from vandalism, looting and loss of income.

“We fully understand the frustration of community members who are fed up with the failing ANC, which refuses to listen to their concerns, but another shutdown is not the answer. On behalf of the DA, I plead with the community not to resort to any forms of violence, intimidation or vandalism because it does not pay.”

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