'We are exercising our right to appeal Tlokwe ruling'

Outsed mayor Maphetle Maphetle and his colleagues are refusing to vacate council offices.

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

JOHANNESBURG - The ANC in the North West says it's exercising its democratic rights by choosing to appeal a high court judgment in favour of the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the disputed municipality of Tlokwe.

The DA and ANC are scheduled to face-off in court again this morning to resolve a stand-off over access to the council offices.

Ousted mayor Maphetle Maphetle refused to vacate council offices as per a court order on Tuesday morning.

The new mayor, Annette Combrink, said she and her colleagues were refused access when they arrived at the offices.

"It emerged that the previous mayor and a large number of his ANC colleagues were still in the office and they refused to leave. Their legal advisor then came out and said they were going to ask for leave to appeal and therefore everything was suspended."

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

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

They were also calling for the meeting during which Combrink was voted in nullified.

However, the judge found that 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 by Tuesday.

Mapethle has now filed an appeal against the decision.

The party's North West spokesperson Kenny Morolong says they are not trying to drag out the process.

"The ANC still maintains its respect for the judiciary and the ability and confidence of the courts to dispense justice without fear or favour. However, in the same breathe, we also wish to exercise our right to appeal against the judgment."

Combrink said her and her party will not force their way into the offices and will wait for the courts to clear the way.