Stop the illegal appointments in Kouga

The Democratic Alliance tried in a Council meeting on Friday to stop the illegal process of unlawful appointments of the top five managers in the Kouga Council.

These appointments had already been made, and the council was expected to rubberstamp and legitimise the illegal actions of the municipal manager, the mayor and his mayoral committee.

Elza Van Lingen, the DA member of Parliament is highly concerned about the ailing Kouga Municipality.

In response, the DA will approach the High Court to file for an urgent interdict to have the appointments set aside.

“The DA will hold the municipal manager, the mayor, the mayoral committee and every single councillor who voted for the approval in council personally liable for the legal expenses of this case” said Elza Van Lingen, the leader of the DA in Kouga.

The mayor, Booi Koerat and his mayoral committee unlawfully assumed “delegated powers” to appoint these managers, with Koerat even signing the letters of appointment, which he has no legal right to do.

The mayor and his committee held a secret meeting on 11 June 2012 and called the successful candidates to inform them that their letters of appointment will be forwarded the next day.

They then requested the successful candidates to take up their positions on 1 July 2012, without the required approval of the council or the MEC.

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According to the law, a full council is required to approve such appointments.

In response to the crisis at the Kouga council, the DA has taken the following steps:

•All information at the DA’s disposal has been passed on to MEC Qoboshiyane.
•On 4 May, a DA delegation visited the MEC Qoboshiyane to inform him that the executive mayor and his mayoral committee flouted every possible legal obligation in making the controversial appointments.
• DA Eastern Cape Leader Athol Trollip has been in constant contact with the MEC regarding this matter since 19 June 2012.
• The National Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs has also been informed of the crisis.
• DA Caucus Leader, Dr Chimpie Cawood wrote to the municipal manager to remind him of his duties and highlight his inaction in the process.
• DA Constituency Leader, Elza van Lingen wrote several letters to the MEC in this regard.
• The DA has submitted a lawyer’s letter reminding the municipal manager that the DA placed on record that the appointments were contrary to the Municipal Systems Act and therefore the appointments were unlawful.

The final outcome of the Council meeting was that the Kouga Council resolved not to redo these appointments in compliance with the Municipal Systems Act with the ANC using their majority to push the appointments through.

The DA will not accept the reckless and irresponsible defiance of the law by the ANC in Kouga and will fight the matter in court on behald of the citizens of Kouga.

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