By-elections in wards 35 and 37 postponed
The Port Elizabeth High Court will rule on Friday whether or not DA turncoat councillors Trevor Louw and Neville Higgins are still councillors.
The IEC has, meanwhile, postponed the by-elections in wards 35 and 37, the wards they have been leading since 2016.
The Port Elizabeth High Court declared in December that the two are no longer councillors. Higgins and Louw then applied for leave to appeal against the decision.
DA councillor Werner Senekal asks stand-in acting city manager Mbuzeli Nogqala if he has received a retraction of vacancies seeing that Higgins and Louw are in chambers. Nogqala says according to his information the municipality has not received retractions.— Nomazima Nkosi (@Zima_B_Nkosi) January 31, 2019
IEC regional supervisor Crosby Bacela said acting municipal manager Peter Neilson wrote to his office withdrawing the two vacancies in council and the IEC was thus compelled to postpone the by-elections.
"The municipal manager felt that according to Section 18 subsection 1 of the Superior Courts Act, when someone appeals a decision of the court, all activities around that person must be suspended.
"The IEC complied with this and decided to halt the by-election. The two still remain councillors," Bacela said.
Nogqala says Louw and Higgins remain councillors in the Metro until the application for leave to appeal is included. Mafaya said as the municipality there was nothing else the city can do but for the DA to challenge the appeal to the court.— Nomazima Nkosi (@Zima_B_Nkosi) January 31, 2019
The Superior Courts Act of 2013 states that unless the court under exceptional circumstances orders otherwise, the operation and execution of a decision which is the subject of an application for leave to appeal or of an appeal, is suspended pending the decision of the application or appeal.
Meanwhile, during the first council sitting of 2019 last week, councillors spent more than 40 minutes debating whether should be allowed in the chambers at councillor.