The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Friday said it had begun court action to enable uMngeni mayor-elect, Chris Pappas, his deputy Sandile Mnikathi, and their team to be inaugurated.
“We have also begun legal proceedings to ensure that a new council meeting is called and mayor-elect, Chris Pappas, and his team are inaugurated,” said Francois Rodgers, a member of the provincial legislature and DA leader in KwaZulu-Natal.
Rogers made his comments after the DA walked out of proceedings to inaugurate the party’s first municipality in KwaZulu-Natal because suspended Municipal Manager Thembeka Cibane wanted to preside over matters.
The DA complained the move to have Cibane preside over proceedings was “an abundantly clear attempt by the ANC [African National Congress] to sabotage the proceedings”.
The DA said it raised various points of order objecting to Cibane as presiding officer, which it said made the entire process irregular.
“Consequently, the DA walked out of the proceedings – a step that was supported by the EFF [Economic Freedom Fighters],” said Rogers.
“Currently, the DA uMngeni caucus members are being sworn in at the Howick Magistrates court,” said Rodgers.
“This clearly orchestrated tactic by the ANC and their suspended official is, unsurprisingly, evidence of the arrogance of an ANC unable to accept defeat in uMngeni.
“It is a pity that the ANC in uMngeni didn’t take the advice of its provincial leader to undergo counselling and accept defeat.
“In our desire to get things going, the DA and other opposition councillors have been sworn in at the Howick Magistrate Court.
“The voters of uMngeni have given us that mandate and we will ensure that our mandate to govern is carried out without further delays.”
The ANC was yet to respond to the DA’s assertions that it deliberately sabotaged the inauguration proceedings.