Tue, 23 Oct, 2012
Controversial lawyer and Makana councillor Paul Notyawa has been given 30 working days to resign as full-time councillor or leave his current job as a lawyer and work full-time in the Municipality.
This was decided by council in a confidential session during yesterday's special council meeting. Municipal spokesperson Mncedisi Boma confirmed today that the council resolved that Notyawa should make a decision on which job is he going to give up.
"Yesterday, the council resolved that he must respond within 30 days as to whether he is staying on as a mayoral committee member or resigning and continuing to be a lawyer. Then after his decision, council will see if they have a vacancy in the mayoral committee or make sure that he works full-time as a mayoral committee member [as he is required]," said Boma.
He said they would respect the 30 days given to Notyawa to make a decision. Sources within the council said a vote was taken by councillor whether to give Notyawa 14 days or 30 days. The Democratic Alliance suggested he should be given 14 days because this issue has been known for a long time.
Boma said the challenge about the case of alleged breach of conduct by Notyawa was because of the contents of a letter written to the Municipal Manager by Notyawa, the letter was written in IsiXhosa.
"The challenge was the contents of the letter because there was no one who could interpret it, and it was his right to do so [write it in IsiXhosa]. Council is mindful of the fact that this matter is should be resolved urgently, we are hoping that by the end of 30 days a decision will be taken," Boma added.
A committe elected in April by council to investigate the alleged 'breach of code of conduct' by Notyawa could not conclude on the case according to chairperson Julie Wells. Wells wrote addressed to the Speaker saying: "The task team met with Councillor Notyawa to seek information and hear his side of the story. He refused to speak to the task team on the grounds that he had submitted a letter to the Municipal Manager and would only speak to that."
"The task team's request was that he simply tell us what the content of the letter was so that we could discuss it then and there was rejected. Cllr Notyawa further insisted that he would only speak to the task team on the condition that he speak in his mother tongue and that an official interpreter be provided and that all proceedings should be officially recorded."
Explaining his position during interview with Grocott's earlier this month, Notyawa said, "I asked to speak my language because I was exercising my constitutional right."
Notyawa said when Council solicited him to be a Mayoral Committee member, they knew his position. He said he had sent a letter to the municipal manager declaring that he was the legal counsel for Cosatu and Sadtu in the province.
"They appointed me as the Mayoral Committee member [despite] my declaration, revoking their right to withdraw me. All I can think of this is about playing dirty politics, they are tackling the man instead of the ball and they are supposed to tackle the ball to the goal post. This is just mere politicking and it is a rough tackle," said Notyawa.
Of his other employment, Notyawa said, "Indeed it is true, and no crime has been committed. Why worry about my qualifications? There is nothing I did without the permission of the Council. Now, after nine months, they are raising this."