Tlokwe: DA snubs ‘illegal’ council special meeting

The Democratic Alliance (DA) did not attend a Tlokwe council special meeting on Friday because it was illegally convened, the party said.

"The DA-led coalition in the Tlokwe Municipality in Potchefstroom decided not to attend a special council meeting this morning [Friday] illegally convened by the speaker, Barei Segotso," North West DA leader Chris Hattingh said in a statement.

He alleged the meeting contravened the council's rules of order and the Municipal Structures Act.

A quorum of 50% of the councillors plus one was needed to call such a meeting. This condition was not met for Friday's meeting.

Tlokwe municipal spokesperson William Maphosa could not immediately comment on the claims that the meeting was convened illegally.

The ANC in the North West said earlier that a motion of no confidence in Tlokwe mayor Annette Combrink, of the DA, was on the meeting's agenda, but it would not be effected.

Service delivery issues
"While the motion appears as an agenda item in today's [Friday] council meeting, the ANC will not be acting on this matter today," spokesperson Kenny Morolong said in a statement.

Fourteen ANC councillors were expelled from the party in July for participating in a motion of no confidence in then Tlokwe mayor Maphetle Maphetle. He was replaced by Combrink.

The ANC's national disciplinary committee subsequently overturned the expulsions.

Hattingh said the DA had received no reply to letters written to Segotso about its concerns relating to the meeting.

He said no council meetings had been called for three months, despite a number of pressing service delivery issues which needed to be discussed.

"No other agenda point addressing delivery was on the agenda for [Friday's] special council meeting," Hattingh said.

Morolong said a motion of no confidence in Combrink would be delayed.

'Restore democracy'
"The inevitable removal of the mayor who ascended to the position through the subversion of democracy will only be effected after the conclusion of the outstanding by-elections."

The ANC retained control of two of three wards in Tlokwe by-elections on Wednesday.

The Electoral Court in Bloemfontein ordered on Tuesday evening that five of the nine by-elections in Tlokwe be postponed.

This was after the court heard an application by five independent candidates who were disqualified from taking part in the by-elections by the Independent Electoral Commission.

A sixth by-election, in Ward 13, was earlier postponed after an out-of-court settlement.

North West local government MEC Manketsi Tlhape said on Wednesday the date for the remaining by-elections would be announced once her office received the required documents from the IEC.

Morolong said: "The ANC reaffirms its unwavering resolve to restore democracy and the will of the people of Tlokwe, thus building on the foundation we have already laid to change the lives of our people for the better." – Sapa

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