Tlokwe: Ex-mayor won't vacate office despite court order

Maphetle Maphetle. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

Maphetle Maphetle. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

"Maphetle Maphetle is occupying that office because the ANC has decided to appeal against that judgment," said ANC North West spokesperson Kenny Morolong on Tuesday.

"The mayor and speaker, who are both applicants, have decided to appeal, and the ANC supports this," he said.

On Monday, the North Gauteng High Court dismissed an application to nullify the council meeting at which Maphetle was unseated – paving the way for Democratic Alliance (DA) mayor Annette Combrink to be reinstated.

Judge Neil Tuchten on Monday said the council meeting and the decisions of the council to remove Maphetle and vote in Combrink as mayor were lawful.

He also found that Maphetle's occupation of the mayoral office was unlawful.

Tuchten ordered that Maphetle vacate the offices by 10am on Tuesday and the ANC said it respected the judgment.

But DA North West spokesperson Tiaan Kotze said Maphetle refused to vacate the offices on Tuesday morning, and said the ANC was appealing the judgment.

'Absolutely illegal'
"The DA has not received any [appeal] papers yet. What they are doing is absolutely illegal," said Kotze.

The party summoned the sheriff of the court to enforce the court order, and was taking legal advice.

On July 2, Combrink was voted in as mayor for the second time since November, unseating Maphetle.

The application by Maphetle and Tlokwe speaker Barei Segotso sought to have the meeting at which Combrink was voted in nullified.

The ANC's North West provincial disciplinary committee expelled 14 of its councillors during the controversy, and they lost their seats as councillors.

ANC is still the authority
Meanwhile, during the proceedings at the high court last week, the ANC was confident it would get the meeting nullified and Maphetla reinstated. According to Morolong at the time, the ANC is still the authority in Tlokwe.

"No government can express authority unless such has been expressed by the majority of the citizens.
We still have the full backing of the people of Tlokwe," said Morolong.

On July 2, 48 Tlokwe councillors sat for a meeting that was reportedly cancelled by the speaker of the municipality. The DA argued at the time that not all constituencies were notified of the cancellation and since the quorum was reached, the meeting should be classified as valid.

Twenty-six ANC councillors, including others from the opposition parties, showed a vote of no-confidence on Maphetle at the time and subsequently voted for Combrink as mayor for the second time. In a council meeting held in November 2012, the same councillors made the same decision. – Sapa

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