1. On 29 March 2023 the applicant (“the MEC”) approached this Court urgently for declaratory relief relating to the recent appointment of the fourth respondent (“Prince”) as the acting municipal manager of the first respondent (“the Municipality”). The matter was genuinely urgent and was heard in the Fast Lane of the Motion Court during recess. This judgment has been prepared in light of the urgency of the matter and the Court reserves the right to amplify its reasons later if the need arises.
2. The appointment of a municipal manager (which includes the position of acting municipal manager) is governed by section 54A of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, 32 of 2000 (“the Systems Act”) and, as will be seen more fully hereunder, is governed by specific criteria in respect of qualifications. The MEC has approached the court because he contends that Prince is not suitably qualified to hold the position of acting municipal manager of the Municipality. Prince, who has deposed to the answering affidavit, and the Municipality contend otherwise.
3. It is not in dispute that if the Court finds that Prince is not suitably qualified for the position of acting municipal manager, his appointment was null and void. That is the relief which the MEC seeks in this matter.