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Court dismisses DAs court application to stop implementation of ethekwini budget

Date: 2021-10-04 04:21:45

Court dismisses DAs court application to stop implementation of ethekwini budget


14 OCTOBER 2020


EThekwini Municipality Mayor, Cllr Mxolisi Kaunda has welcomed the court judgement declaring the application by the Democratic Alliance to prevent the municipality from implementing the budget passed by the council on the 29th of May 2020 unjustified.

The application, which was dismissed with costs, including the cost of two counsel, arose as a result of a DA Councillor’s microphone Nicole Graham, being muted while she was commenting on the first-ever virtual budget meeting.

In delivering the judgement today (14/10/2020), Judge Pillay indicated that the DA was not deprived of the opportunity to make submissions on the budget since the requirements for representative democracy were met and public participation was enabled. The Judge went further to say that “the Speaker, Cllr Weziwe Thusi stopped the muting of the DA councillor’s microphone and conducted the business of the council lawfully to conclusion and therefore the proceedings of virtual budget of 29 May 2020 were constitutionally compliant.”

Kaunda described the judgement as a victory for the residents of eThekwini as it allows the city to continue to implement its pro-poor budget. “In fact, this court judgement has once again exposed the DA’s anti poor posture. What is disturbing is that the DA can even go as far as launching frivolous court applications to stall service delivery especially during this difficult period of COVID-19,” said Kaunda.

In finding against Graham, Judge Pillay said it was Graham who broke the By-law. “Interrupting the Speaker to insist on speaking before the other political parties and leaving the meeting without permission violated provisions of the By-law. She could have remained in attendance and insisted on being heard. Having exercised her choice, precipitously and impermissibly, she cannot complain that the DA was deprived of an opportunity to make submission on the budget. Ms Graham’s complain appears to be that the Speaker chose to address the problem her way and not Graham’s way.

Her assumption that her ideas for solving the problem were somehow superior to the Speaker is seriously flawed. The Speaker had to think on her feet and do her best as quickly as possible. She managed to fix the problem and the meeting proceeded to conclusion. The Speaker was rational and or reasonable in the way she managed an unforeseen situation. Consequently, interference by the court is unwarranted,” said the Judge.

Kaunda added that the judgement has taught the DA a lesson of respecting legitimate internal processes instead of running to courts.

Issued by the Mayor’s Office

For more information contact Mayoral Spokesperson Mluleki Mntungwa on 060 974 1140