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DA's 'appetite for power' is appalling - Western Cape municipality wins case against provincial DA

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DA's 'appetite for power' is appalling - Western Cape municipality wins case against provincial DA

Legal gavel

8th October 2021

By: News24Wire

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The Western Cape's Kannaland municipality says the Democratic Alliance's (DA's) "interference" in its work has failed, after a High Court judgment dismissed the provincial government's application against a group of Kannaland officials and political office bearers.

Reacting to the judgment delivered on Thursday, the municipality lambasted the DA-led provincial government, accusing it of being interested in nothing but power.

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The municipality said in a statement, "The DA's insatiable appetite for power at all and at any cost is appalling. The party will forge a self-serving coalition with another as it condemns its very partner for corruption and inability.

"And it will grope another to rise to power in one municipality, while it undermines that partner in another municipality a few minutes and a few kilometres away in bed with the ANC [African National Congress] in Kannaland against Icosa [Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa]; in bed with Icosa in Oudtshoorn against the ANC... until it lost both Kannaland and Oudtshoorn before reflecting in amazement about what might possibly have gone wrong."

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Local Government MEC Anton Bredell instituted contempt of court proceedings against officials at Kannaland, accusing the debt-ridden council of unlawfully appointing a raft of new political staff as well as engaging in other "potentially financially prejudicial and unlawful transactions that threaten to further destabilise the municipality".

The Little Karoo council has been under administration since 2018.

It had been run by coalitions between Icosa, the DA and the ANC. The region is an Icosa stronghold.

'Considering our options'

The municipality owed Eskom at least R19-million in unpaid electricity debt.

In a statement on Thursday, Bredell said he noted the court outcome, adding that he was concerned about the municipality's Eskom debt and the fact that the municipality was currently operating off an unfunded budget for 2021/2022.

The council had, in addition, failed to submit its annual financial statements within the prescribed timeframes, he said.

Bredell said, "My department and I have acted in the best interests of the community of Kannaland at all times, following years of deterioration and financial mismanagement. Without the provincial government's actions and the financial and technical support provided since 2016, service delivery would have failed.

"We stand by our actions. We are reviewing the judgment and considering our options moving forward."

Meanwhile, the municipality said it would take action against the administrator and Bredell "to recover wasteful and fruitless expenditure on their watch".

"The illegal intervention failed. The illegal intervention spoiled. The illegal intervention harmed. Kannaland wants compensation for real and quantifiable damage and the democratic right to govern itself. Pretty simple demands. Should not be necessary to even ask."

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