The DA is praising Tuesday’s decision to let the recently expelled Joburg Mayor run for office again as a “huge win for the rule of law.” Following a contentious council conflict, the courts have decided that Dr. Mpho Phalatse is the metro’s legitimate leader. Following a heated council meeting, Mpho Phalatse was fired from her position as mayor last month. The DA, however, had adamantly denied that the vote of no confidence had been performed improperly. Currently, the Johannesburg High Court fully supports the party. Uncertainty surrounds the council’s future, though. The governing coalition is plagued by internal strife, and the ANC/EFF combo is expected to present the DA and its mayoral selection with additional difficulties in the future. The Blues are nonetheless ecstatic with the outcome.
“DA wins its court case against the ANC’s illegal takeover in Johannesburg. The High Court has declared the removal of Mayor Mpho Phalatse unlawful. This is a victory for the Rule of Law. As she did for the last 10 months, Dr. Mpho will continue to focus on delivery.” DA statement reads. As soon as the verdict was announced, party head John Steenhuisen was beaming. But he also kept a realistic viewpoint. In the banner of “tackling ANC corruption,” the seasoned campaigner has persuaded all coalition members in Johannesburg to support the mayor.“This is a massive victory for democracy. We have always maintained that the ANC’s power grab was unlawful. Now is the time for parties committed to service delivery and good governance to unite behind Mayor Mpho Phalatse and stop the corrupt ANC.” Said John Steenhuisen.
Phalatse has stated that the South Gauteng High Court verdict should serve as a message to politicians all over the nation who will do whatever, including flouting the law, to seize control of a position of authority in order to gain access to resources.”The residents of the country’s economic capital deserve a capable and stable government that will repair and rebuild Joburg. During this time, we will also be reviewing all decisions that were made by the illegal ANC executives. This is indeed a victory, a victory for the rule of law, the residents of Joburg, and their service delivery needs,” she said.
— Executive Mayor Mpho Phalatse (@mphophalatse1) October 25, 2022
South Gauteng High Court Judgement
In her ruling, Judge Raylene Keightley determined that it was unlawful for City of Joburg Speaker Colleen Makhubele to treat DA Councillors as though they had no right to attend the Council meeting because they had declined to sign the register.”This means that she acted unlawfully and contrary to the prescripts of the Constitution and the Rules in refusing to permit them to speak; in refusing to consider their request for a caucus break; and for refusing to permit them to object to or to vote against the motion of no confidence. It follows that she also acted unlawfully in treating the motion as being unopposed. Her conclusion that it was unopposed, and hence to refuse to permit any debate on the motion, was fatally tainted with illegality through her unlawful refusal to permit DA councilors to participate in the proceedings of the Council,” said Keightley.
The opposition party welcomes the judgment
Michael Beaumont, the national chairman of ActionSA, issued a statement applauding the verdict. “While ActionSA welcomes this court outcome, it does not change the dynamics of instability that led to the collapse. This leaves the ball squarely in the DA’s court to demonstrate their commitment to multi-party coalitions providing an alternative to failed ANC governance,” said Beaumont.The return of the multi-party coalition government may be a technical occurrence lasting a day or a week or it could result in the multi-party coalition remaining in power for the following four years, keeping the ANC in the opposition benches.
“In this regard, the DA must decide whether it is willing to re-engage its former coalition partners and secure enough support to sustain a government or whether it has given up on the coalition and surrendered the residents of Johannesburg to four more years of ANC governance,” he said.
“The services needed by the residents of Johannesburg cannot be delivered from the opposition benches, and nor can the fight against corruption be won unless the coalition is in government. ActionSA is committed to the work of fixing Johannesburg, and for this, the coalition must govern for the rest of the term of office. We call upon all political parties committed to providing an alternative to the ANC to come together and deliver on this commitment,” he said.
Thapelo Amad, the former MMC for Development Planning, under the Morero leadership, said the Al Jama-ah party accepted the court ruling. “We, as the former government, do not have an appetite to drag the judiciary into council processes or into a political arena. We welcomed the judgment from the judiciary, but because we understand where we are, we still have those numbers [the majority vote in the council].
“We are going to convene to issue a notice of 72 hours for programming to sit, and from there we will issue a notice for the council to sit in a special council meeting for next week. We have taken a position to fight our battles in council, not elsewhere, because, as councilors, the council is the highest decision-making body for all of us and that is our shadow-boxing ring. So, we are still confident that, come next week Friday, Mpho Phalatse will be the former executive mayor of the City of Johannesburg.”
Dada Morero, the leader of the African National Congress (ANC), who was ousted as mayor of Johannesburg on Tuesday, has stated he supports the Johannesburg High Court’s decision to reinstate Mpho Phalatse as mayor. Last month, Morero was chosen to serve as mayor during a council meeting that the court determined to be illegal. This indicates that the Democratic Alliance (DA) is the ruling party in the city’s coalition government.Morero, now the city of gold’s former mayor, said he respects the judgment made by the court: “We have accepted the court judgment and we will have our meeting today to decide on the course of action.”He stated that the ANC will be sitting in the opposition benches at the upcoming council meeting, which is anticipated to be held on Thursday.
Following the High court’s decision to reinstate Dr. Mpho Phalatse of the Democratic Alliance (DA), City of Johannesburg Mayor Sello Dada Morero has formally resigned.Phalatse was named the Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg by the High Court of Johannesburg in an early-morning decision. After being removed from office as mayor in a vote of no confidence in late September, Phalatse went to court.
The election of Dada Morero, a member of the ANC (African National Congress), as mayor of the city has been overturned. Judge Raylene Kieghtley ruled that it was illegal for the council speaker to call an extra meeting of the council for September 30. The choice was made the day prior during the Programming Committee meeting. Another move that was ruled unlawful during this meeting was the inclusion of the motion of no confidence on the agenda.“There’s a legal and political battle. We’ve won the legal battle and now we must fight the political battle. We will put our heads together with the parties that remain and see what to do.” says Phalatse.
— #LordOfTheMedia (@samkelemaseko) October 25, 2022
All of Morero’s judgment have been ruled illegal and unconstitutional by the court. The African National Congress (ANC), is still examining the verdict. The party asserts that the ruling only delays what will eventually happen. “Mpho Phalatse is aware that she does not have the numbers which is why she has gone to court and not the council. If she had numbers she would have gone to council and fought her battles in council,” says ANC Joburg Regional Spokesperson, Sasabona Manganye. Political analyst, Jan Joubert political analyst says Phalatse has a tough task ahead to reunite coalition partners. Joubert adds, “The ANC and its allies have a way of playing roughshod over the rules. But with that said Dr Phalatse is going to have a tough task being re-elected. She has lost the confidence of her partners, so many would say this is a technical victory.”The Johannesburg council is scheduled to convene on Thursday. It’s unclear if another motion of no confidence will be on the agenda.
The recently appointed Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi warns against getting too comfortable with Mpho Phalatse’s court triumph because it will be temporary. After Phalatse’s successful plea to overturn her removal from office last month, the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg reinstalled her as the mayor of Joburg on Tuesday.“The coalition partners have demonstrated that they don’t want to work with the former mayor and we will go back to the drawing board and consult with them on how to take the next step. We will respect the judgment of the court and will also engage with our structures in Joburg to develop a new way forward,” said Lesufi speaking to eNCA.
Lesufi reportedly told the broadcaster that they intend to overturn the jury’s ruling. “Its something that is inevitable, its a short-lived victory because we are determined with our coalition partners to rectify what the court should have rectified. The eventuality can not be postponed anymore, it’s quite clear that coalition partners want a new breath of fresh air in Joburg and we provide that as the ANC.”