DA legal team argues against legality of August 27 meeting

The public gallery in the Port Elizabeth High Court was packed with members of all parties involved on Thursday morning as the DA's legal team argued against the legality of a August 27 council meeting. 
Advocate Olav Harald Ronaasen told acting judge Johann Huisamen that the meeting was not a constitutional meeting as not all councillors were notified of the meeting that took place later that day.
"For a meeting to be properly constituted it means everyone must be given notice. The applicants did not receive notice of the meeting that took place later that day," Ronaasen said.
Huisamen said it is possible the consequences of the applicants walking out resulted in what happened next.
Ronaasen said that municipal manager Johann Mettler said the council meeting did not quorate and had reconvened the meeting for September 3.
The advocate stated that the MEC for cooperative governance and traditional affairs Fikile Xasa interfered in matters of council by sending the second respondent Jenny Roestorff to preside over the election of the speaker.
"The fourth respondent was available. The first respondent needed to ascertain the availability of the municipal manager and one or two phone calls was not enough.
"The fourth respondent states in his affidavit that he was happy to return to council," Ronaasen said.
The court also debated whether Mbulelo Manyati was still a councilllor at the time of the second meeting on August 27.
Ronaasen argued that Manyati had ceased to be a councilllor after he had declared publicly and to the media that he no longer wanted to be a member of the DA.
Proceedings will resume shortly.

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