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'Maphetle will respect Tlokwe ruling'

Maphetle's application to be reinstated as mayor was dismissed on Monday.

DA supporters congratulate newly appointed Mayor of Tlokwe Municipality (Potchefstroom) Annete Combrink. Picture: Credit: Potchefstroom DA Mayor Facebook page

JOHANNESBURG - The ANC says it believes ousted Tlokwe mayor Maphetle Maphetle will uphold the rule of the law and vacate his former offices on Tuesday.

"As loyal members of the ANC we always uphold the rule of the law so in this instance, that is what the ANC will do," says the ANC's Ishmael Mnisi.

On Monday, the North Gauteng High Court dismissed the ANC's application to unseat Tlokwe Mayor Annette Combrink.

It also likened the situation in Tlokwe to anarchy because of the political chaos that has characterised the area over the last few weeks.

Maphetle and Barei Segotso, the speaker of the Tlokwe council, approached the court last week to have his unseating as mayor declared invalid.

They also called for the meeting during which the Democratic Alliance's (DA) Combrink was voted in to be nullified.

However, Judge Neil Tuchten found the meeting was lawful.

He also found that Maphetle's occupation of the mayoral office was illegal and that the ANC needed to vacate the building.

The DA's North West leader Chris Hattingh said Judge Tuchten was very strong on certain issues.

"Judge Tuchten rejected the application and said that the former mayor and Segotso should pay all the costs of both parties in their personal capacity. He said not a cent of public money should be utilised for this purpose."

Combrink was elected to replace Maphetle at a controversial council meeting in Potchefstroom earlier this month.

A number of ANC members voted for her after Maphetle failed to deal with damning forensic audit findings of corruption in the municipality. Those councillors were later expelled from the ruling party.

The situation left the ANC and DA at loggerheads over who the legitimate mayor of the region was.

The battle also left the municipality dysfunctional.