Province welcomes green light to appeal UPM judgment

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The Eastern Cape Provincial Executive has welcomed the Supreme Court of Appeal’s ruling earlier this month granting it leave to appeal the order to dissolve Makana Municipality. Meanwhile, lawyers for the Unemployed People’s Movement have requested reasons why their Section 18 application to have Judge Stretch’s January order immediately put into effect pending the appeal application has been dismissed.

  • In January 2020 the Unemployed People’s Movement succeeded in their application to have the Premier dissolve Makana Municipal Council and appoint an administrator in terms of Section 139(5)(b) of the Constitution until local government elections at held and a new council elected.
  • In May 2020 the appeal by the Province and the Municipality against the ruling was heard and dismissed.
  • The Province and Municipality escalated their appeal to the Supreme Court of appeal (SCA).
  • The UPM through their lawyers at Wheeldon Rushmere and Cole filed a Section 18 application that if successful would have seen Judge Igna Stretch’s 14 January order enforced.
  • The Section 18 application was heard on Friday 18 September.
  • On 14 October, the SCA ruled that the Provincial Executive and Makana may appeal Judge Stretch’s January ruling.
  • The Section 18 judgment was handed down in the Motion Court in Makhanda on 22 October, dismissing the Section 18 application, with costs and with no reasons given.

Premier Oscar Mabuyane, through his spokesperson Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha, said, “We welcome the SCA’s ruling. We think it helps to protect separation of powers. There are no winners and losers on this matter. We still have the responsibility to ensure that the municipality works effectively and efficiently for its people. We continue with this work.”

Regarding the Section 18 application, UPM lawyer Brin Brody, of Wheeldon Rushmere and Cole confirmed it had been dismissed with costs, with no reason given.

“We are asking for reasons,” Brody said.

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