PUBLIC PROTECTOR REFERS ACDP COMPLAINT TO COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE

See my post of 12 Feb 2015:

The Public Protector has redirected the ACDP’s complaint regarding the City of Cape Town’s Council meeting held on 28 January 2015, to the office of the Ministers of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), which I have now done.

The remedies we are seeking are:
Given the clear breaches of national legislation outlined above and given that it is of constitutional, legal and strategic importance that the City of Cape Town continually fulfills these legislative requirements in its decision-making processes and its implementation of legislation, rather than selectively ignoring these with impunity, the ACDP respectfully appeals to COGTA to:
1. investigate these allegations urgently.
2. initiate corrective action to the fullest extent that it can, resulting in the ‘resumed Council meeting’ being necessarily repeated in order to validate all decisions made at, what we believe to be, the legally invalid meeting, and
3. apply suitable sanctions to implicated Councillors and officials who prevented access of opposition Councillors and members of the public and media to the open Council meeting.
4. direct the Chief Whip of Council in respect of the illegal assumption of powers and authority vested in Council.
5. achieve a clear and unconditional public retraction of the allegation made by the Speaker.
6. ensure the CTICC’s IAR is made public and local communities invited to give comment within a new 60 day period, while all other delegatees are given the opportunity to exercise their oversight and reporting roles.
7. ensure the CEO attends the subsequent Council meeting to answer questions of the CTICC IAR.

IMPUNITY CONCERNS:
Ultimately, the ACDP’s fear is that of precedent set: Should no remedial action be taken or if no remedial action is possible, municipalities will, by unintended default, have been given license to ignore selected provisions of related acts without sanction and with no other recourse possible by affected parties including political parties, the public and media but to approach a competent court. This in itself would be a gross breach of the principles and provisions of PAJA, IGRFA and the Constitution, especially when affected parties do not have the means to approach the court for relief and to ensure compliance by municipalities of governing national legislation.

Indeed, the very prescripts of governance in the Republic, adequately outlined in the preamble to the IGRFA and others, being inter alia that municipalities “must provide effective, efficient, transparent, accountable and coherent government for the Republic to secure the well-being of the people and the progressive realisation of their constitutional rights” will have been ignored and made irrelevant.

This is surely untenable in the extreme.

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