“The African National Congress has directed comrade Maphetle Maphetle to vacate, with immediate effect, his mayoral position as ordered by the North Gauteng High Court [in Pretoria],” the ANC said in a statement.
“Comrades Maphetle Maphetle and [speaker] Barei Segotso have thus withdrawn their intention to apply for leave to appeal on this matter following the directive of the African National Congress.”
They were scheduled to have brought an urgent application for leave to appeal Judge Neil Tuchten’s dismissal on Monday of their application to nullify the council meeting at which Maphetle was unseated in favour of Democratic Alliance mayor Annette Combrink on July 2.
Tuchten had ordered that he vacate his office by 10am on Tuesday to make way for Combrink.
The ANC said initially it respected the court’s decision, but when Combrink arrived on Tuesday, she could not enter the office to work and was told the ANC had lodged an urgent appeal.
This was set down for 10am on Wednesday morning at the High Court in Pretoria.
However, on Wednesday morning, DA North West leader Chris Hattingh said the party had been told at the 11th hour that Maphetle would vacate the office, and that the urgent application would be withdrawn.
In the statement, the ANC said its faith in the judiciary remained “unshaken”, and so it had told Maphetle and Segotso to leave.
“The ANC hands over the Tlokwe City Council intact; with a commendable record of effective service delivery, blue drop water status, and a clean administration ranked among the most financially sustainable municipalities in the country,” the ANC said.
It planned to reclaim its majority in forthcoming by-elections.
Mapthetle has been unseated twice when ANC councillors voted with the opposition to remove him.
The ANC’s North West provincial disciplinary committee expelled 14 of its councillors during the controversy.