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Battle for Tlokwe continues

The DA says it will go to court on Friday to prove its right to rule in the Tlokwe Local Municipality.

DA supporters congratulate Annette Combrink after a unanimous vote put her back into power in Tlokwe (Potchefstroom). Picture: Facebook

JOHANNESBURG - The battle for the Tlokwe municipality in the North West continues after it emerged new court applications will be launched on Friday to coincide with a protest planned for the same day.

The ANC and Democratic Alliance (DA) are at loggerheads over who the legitimate mayor of the region is.

At a controversial council meeting in Potchefstroom last week, the DA's Annette Combrink was elected to replace the ruling party's Maphetle Maphetle.

Some ANC members voted for Combrink after Maphetle failed to deal with damning forensic audit findings of corruption in the municipality.

The ANC councillors were later expelled from the party.

The council speaker turned to the courts to have Maphetle reinstated, saying the meeting was irregular.

At the same time, the DA accused Maphetle of refusing to vacate his office.

DA provincial leader Chris Hattingh said, "We will file our papers, our response and also a counter-application in the high court tomorrow [Friday]."

He believes support for Combrink is growing and a march on Friday will prove this.

DA RULE 'LUDICROUS'

The ANC in the North West on Tuesday described the DA's claim to power in Tlokwe as "ludicrous".

The party's Kenny Morolong said the DA doesn't understand the legalities of the matter.

"Our view is comrade Maphetle Maphetle is the legitimate mayor of the Tlokwe Local Municipality. If the DA wishes to battle this matter anywhere, including in court, the ANC is ready."

The ANC's Ishmael Mnisi said the removal was irregular.

"The mayor, together with the other members, including the chief whip, were not present in that meeting. We will further investigate the matter with our legal representatives."

The DA on Monday said Maphetle was trying to threaten its members.

He apparently said he would not be able to prevent illegal land-grabs unless DA councillors resigned.

Hattingh said it was clear Maphetle knew he did not have a legal basis to occupy the building.

"Maphetle this morning told the DA councillors that he needs a political solution to the problem and not a legal one."