High court reinstates Umgeni Water board - The Mail & Guardian

The high court has ruled that the dissolution of the water entity’s board by Minister Lindiwe Sisulu was unfair and unprocedural

2021-10-23 01:36:00 PM

High court reinstates Umgeni Water board - The high court has ruled that the dissolution of the water entity’s board by Minister Lindiwe Sisulu was unfair and unprocedural

The high court has ruled that the dissolution of the water entity’s board by Minister Lindiwe Sisulu was unfair and unprocedural

on the grounds that the decision was unlawful and irrational.Last year Sisulu — who is now the tourism minister — dissolved the board along with those of a number of other housing and water entities after she was appointed to the water and sanitation portfolio in 2019 on the basis that its appointment by her predecessor,

US praises South Africa's detection of new COVID-19 strain COVID-19 in SA | South Africans anxious about 4th wave SA 'punished' for detecting Omicron COVID variant: Dirco

, had not been sanctioned by Cabinet.Sisulu replaced the board with an interim one, headed by former ANC Youth League leaderas chairperson in a move which sparked claims that Sisulu was appointing key figures from the radical economic transformation faction in the ANC to entity boards to bolster her campaign for the party’s presidency in 2022.

A number of board members, includingVivisin Reddy, approached the court for an interdict preventing the appointment of the interim board and for a review of Sisulu’s decision. They failed in their interdict application, but were granted the right to approach the court to review the legality of the decision to dissolve the board. headtopics.com

Umgeni is the subject of two presidential proclamations which have seen the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) probing IT and other contracts which were allegedly awarded unlawfully. The former chief executive officer, Thami Hlongwa, resigned on the eve of the tabling of a forensic investigation into contracts awarded to companies owned by tenderpreneur Sibonelo Shinga, who was murdered last year.

Judge Piet Bezuidenhout found that Sisulu’s decision to dissolve the board, which was communicated to its members on 3 August 2020, with no prior notice nor invitation to provide reasons why they should not be terminated, was “unfair and not in terms of the Constitution nor procedurally fair.”

For this reason, they were entitled to bring the review application.The court said the reason put forward by Sisulu for the dissolution — that the board had not been confirmed by cabinet in terms of the Water Services Act  — was not valid. The interim board which she had appointed had also not been ratified by cabinet.

The court found that because Reddy and the other board members “were not given an opportunity to be heard” the “whole procedure was therefore procedurally unfair.’’“There is also no provision in the Water Services Act for the appointment of an interim board. The appointment of the interim board was also not approved by cabinet and such appointments must therefore be set aside,” the judgment reads. headtopics.com

Poisoned: Tshwane’s boreholes, taps and soil - The Mail & Guardian UFS makes COVID vaccination mandatory from 2022 COVID-19 in SA | Gauteng residents urged to vaccinate as cases rise

“The termination of their appointments was unreasonable and irrational. Applicants were appointed for a 4 year term and it could never have been the intention of the legislature, nor could it be rational that the minister can at any time merely appoint or terminate the appointment of a board member at his/her whim,”’ the court said.

Summary dissolutions of boards “at any time as the minister wishes, even if they did nothing wrong….which would result in chaos and make it impossible for a board to function.”Sisulu, the court ruled, did not have an “absolute right without any resource” to appoint or remove boards at whim.

“This could never have been the intention of the legislature. Such decision must be made applying the principles of natural justice.””It is not clear at this stage whether Sisulu’s successor,, who met with the interim board on Friday, will appeal the ruling or move to dissolve the interim board and reinstate Reddy’s board.

Mchunu’s spokesperson, Kamogelo Mogotsi, had not responded to queries fromMail & Guardianat the time of publishing.Sisulu’s spokesperson, Mphumzi Zuzile, said Sisulu “noted” the decision to reinstate the board.“The minister is consulting with her legal team, given that the minister, in her capacity as the minister of human settlements, water and sanitation, had been a successful respondent in similar cases in other courts in the country. headtopics.com

Umgeni spokesperson Shami Harichunder said the entity noted the judgment in the matter, which it had not opposed.“Umgeni is on the record as stating that it will unreservedly accept the high court’s judgment on the matter.Reddy said that the judgment raised questions about the real reasons why Sisulu had dissolved the board in the first place.

“Our stance that the decision was illegal was correct. As a board which was dissolved for no good reason beyond the political ambitions of an individual we have been vindicated,’’ Reddy said.“We look forward to our reinstatement and working with the new minister,”’ Reddy said.

Basa wary of another alcohol ban COVID-19 infection numbers continue to rise SA Tourism: Travel bans are unjust

Subscribe for R500/yearThanks for enjoying theMail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Read more: Mail & Guardian »

LIVESTREAM | Eskom provides update on system challenges

Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter is back with an update on the grid.

We can be happy that she did not replace the Board with an all Cuban Board. Who advise these ministers? Thinks this is a Sisulu Monarchy. .but we appreciate Walter and Albertina they were humble and gracious cadres tii the end.. CoruscaKhaya Maxhamela LindiweSisuluSA this side please I wish I contacted earlier LindaStouffes this year I'm sharing this to encourage every beginner and Bitcoin lover to get in touch with her she is very legit and God fearing person LindaStouffes

High court reinstates Umgeni Water board - The Mail & GuardianThe high court in Pietermaritzburg has set aside the dissolution of the board of Umgeni Water Amanzi and the appointment of an interim board by then water and sanitation minister Lindiwe Sisulu on the grounds that the decision was unlawful and irrational.

MARKET WRAP: JSE ends week on a high note as China’s Evergrande avoids a defaultAll share index climbs the most in two weeks, buoyed by the Chinese property giant making a last-minute coupon payment and solid company earnings across the globe There's no greater joy than having financial freedom and a life free debts 😊, that's why I keep posting a comment about Mr Dereck0111

MARKET WRAP: JSE ends week on a high note as China’s Evergrande avoids a defaultAll share index climbs the most in two weeks, buoyed by the Chinese property giant making a last-minute coupon payment and solid company earnings across the globe There's no greater joy than having financial freedom and a life free debts 😊, that's why I keep posting a comment about Mr Dereck0111

Bring your cheque book: High-rollers have a rare chance to own this exclusive Ferrari | WheelsRM Sotheby's has listed a rare Ferrari LaFerrari for auction and we have to say it's a must-buy for any collector, regardless of whether you're a fan of Maranello's steeds or not. | Wheels24

Experts believe the high level of murder rates will continue in KraaifonteinBetween January and June 2021, Kraaifontein had a 114 murders reported, which was the most in the country. Tragic Is there a mandatory vax to prevent the murders? CyrilRamaphosa ProfAbdoolKarim PresidencyZA ShabirMadh . There are more people loosing their lives through crime than covid. Please prioritize the problems in SA

High court reinstates Umgeni Water board - The Mail & GuardianThe high court in Pietermaritzburg has set aside the dissolution of the board of Umgeni Water Amanzi and the appointment of an interim board by then water and sanitation minister Lindiwe Sisulu on the grounds that the decision was unlawful and irrational.