Ekurhuleni Council Chief Whip Khetha Shandu (left) and speaker Raymond Dhlamini. Photo: Johan Brits
- Ekurhuleni council Speaker Raymond Dhlamini has filed an urgent court application at the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg seeking to halt a special council sitting scheduled for 30 January.
- Dhlamini’s is asking the High Court to halt the special council sitting from taking place because the meeting was illegally called by Ekurhuleni city manager Dr Imogen Mashazi.
- The application will be heard urgently on Monday morning ahead of the special council sitting.
The DA and Ekurhuleni council speaker Raymond Dhlamini have filed an urgent application at the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg seeking to halt a special council meeting called by the city’s manager for 30 January.
According to the DA and Dhlamini, the meeting was illegally arranged by Ekurhuleni city manager Dr Imogen Mashazi.
Mashazi wrote to councillors on Friday stating substantive reasons had been provided motivating for the special sitting.
She was requested to convene the sitting by minority parties represented in the Ekurhuleni council. The same political parties had filed motions of no confidence in Dhlamini, which was scheduled to be heard last Thursday.
That Thursday sitting collapsed after political parties fought inside council chambers in Germiston. Dhlamini postponed the sitting, much to the displeasure of various political parties.
In court papers seen by News24, Dhlamini asked that the court interdict the Monday council sitting until it hears a complete application seeking to set aside Mashazi’s “unlawful” decisions.
Dhlamini said the Municipal Structures Act governed him to convene council sittings rather than the city manager.
The speaker explained in the affidavit Mashazi’s powers to act had yet to be triggered as he had entertained the councillors who requested the council sitting to be rescheduled.
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He said a meeting of chief whips for each party was to be arranged to ascertain why the council meeting had descended into chaos.
The speaker said grounds for a special sitting, in his view, had yet to be met at the time.
Mashazi had no basis for calling for a special sitting, Dhlamini added.
“There is no basis for the city manager to call or chair a meeting under the Municipal Structures Act. The city manager had no authority to act as she did. Her powers were not triggered as the fundamental jurisdictional requirements needed to be met.
“I am advised that the city manager’s decision to call the meeting was procedurally irrational. She acted unlawfully in calling the meeting for 30 January,” Dhlamini said.
Cited in the court application is Mashazi, who, according to Dhlamini’s application, had refused to rescind her council sitting letter.
Mashazi’s lawyers have stated she believed she had the powers to call the extraordinary council sitting.