The Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape has welcomed the latest judgement by the Labour Appeal Court in a matter relating to Bitou Municipality.
The case relates to the irregular appointment by the council of the Municipal Manager, Mr Lonwabo Ngoqo and the irregular payment of an amount of R781 184 to Mr Ngoqo in February 2019.
The Municipal Council in February 2019 took a decision to appoint Mr Ngoqo despite the fact that he had been dismissed from the very same Municipality in 2012 after disciplinary proceedings found him guilty of financial misconduct.
The Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell took the matter to court after exhausting all other options and challenged the legality of the actions taken by the Municipal Council which was intended to circumvent the law.
In August 2019 the labour court found in the Minister’s favour. The court found that the decision taken by the Bitou Council was unlawful and ordered that the settlement agreement entered into between the Municipality and Mr Ngoqo be set aside, and that Mr Ngoqo’s appointment as Municipal Manager also be set aside.
The municipality then took the matter on appeal. That appeal has now been dismissed, with costs.
“The Bitou council will now be liable for the costs for a case that it continued to drag out for longer than was necessary. This was to the detriment of the citizens of Bitou. It’s a pity that some council’s leadership insist on going to court using council’s money to drive their own personal agendas,” said Bredell.
Spokesperson for the Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell
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