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DA relief at Ekurhuleni council speaker reinstatement but leadership battle far from over

DA relief at Ekurhuleni council speaker reinstatement but leadership battle far from over
Raymond Dhlamini, who has been reinstated as Ekurhuleni speaker. (Photo: Ekurhuleni municipality)

The DA’s Raymond Dhlamini has been reinstated after a successful legal challenge to his ousting. But the opposition says the actual motion against the Speaker is still a subject for council debate.

As Raymond Dhlamini is reinstated as Council speaker of the City of Ekurhuleni, the ANC-led opposition said the actual motion against the Speaker is still a subject for council debate, to go through the necessary processes. 

On Monday, the Johannesburg high court ruled in favour of Dhlamini and the Democratic Alliance in an application to have a motion of no confidence declared unlawful, unconstitutional and invalid.

The court further ordered that Dhlamini be reinstated and the Ekurhuleni Municipality pays DA’s legal fees including the costs of two counsels.

Dhlamini was initially ousted as speaker of the council on 2 February 2023.

The removal of Dhlamini follows the tabling of a motion of no confidence against him and the former council whip Khetha Shandu by minority parties in the Ekurhuleni council. 

Read more in Daily Maverick:Ekurhuleni mayor likely next for the chop as ANC and EFF persist with DA leadership purge from Gauteng coalitions

He had been replaced by Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) councillor Nthabiseng Tshivhenga.

However, the court has ruled that Tshivhenga’s election was unlawful and should be reversed.

Dhlamini told Daily Maverick he welcomed the high court’s decision and is happy to be back in the office.

“We are back in the office picking up where we left off. We are also preparing for Thursday’s extraordinary council meeting. We hope everything will run smoothly this time and we are not going to find political parties doing things wrongly but follow all the processes.”

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Commenting on the court outcome, DA Gauteng provincial leader Solly Msimanga said, “The DA in Gauteng welcomes the judgment of the high court vindicating the DA’s fight against the disruption of service delivery through state capture and the crooked politicisation of civil service offices in Ekurhuleni.”

According to Msimanga, “The unlawful hijacking of the City Council by the unlawful political actions of the City Manager, Dr Imogen Mashazi, to promote the interests of the ANC, EFF and their accomplices in Council, stalled the ability of the DA-led Multi-Party Coalition government to focus on pressing service delivery solutions. The hijacking of the Council was nothing more than State Capture at a local government level facilitated by the politicisation of civil service offices.”

Meanwhile, the ANC deputy regional chairperson and the acting Whip of the council in Ekurhuleni Jongizizwe Dlabathi said they have noted the judgment “as disappointing as it may be, we however respect it.”

Dlabathi, however, added that the actual motion against the Speaker is still a subject for council debate, for it (the motion) went through the necessary processes. 

“We will be discussing a way forward along with the like-minded political parties in council, who constitute an overwhelming majority. We will pursue possible and lawful avenues that will ultimately bring normality because the council has degenerated and the image of the City has been tarnished, coupled with the unprecedented lowest levels of service delivery. Given the above, ours is to restore the credibility of the institution,” he concluded. DM


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