THE ANC has until Friday to settle over R300 000 in legal fees or face having property at its headquarters seized, the City of Johannesburg said on Monday.
The fees stem from a failed bid by the ANC in September last year to bring an urgent application to the South Gauteng High Court to table a motion of no confidence by secret ballot against Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba and Council speaker Vasco da Gama.
The application was struck off the roll due to lack of urgency.
Judge Sydwell Shangisa also ordered the ANC to pay the legal costs of Mashaba and Da Gama .
The ANC went to court after the council’s programming committee refused to grant the party a vote by secret ballot.
The ANC attributed the removal of Mashaba and Da Gama to failure to deliver better services to residents.
Mashaba in a statement confirmed that the party had until Friday to settle the legal bill.
“Should the ANC fail to honour this payment by Friday, 15 June 2018, the city has instructed its lawyers to proceed with the execution of the court order, which will result in R300 000 worth of property being seized from the ANC headquarters, Luthuli House, by the Sheriff of the High Court.
“This R300 000 belongs to the residents of this city. Either the ANC is unable to make this payment due to its own financial challenges or it is the result of the ANC’s continuous and willful disregard for public money.
Mashaba added: “The days of the ANC being able to abuse public money in the City of Johannesburg are over and we will not hesitate to execute this court order should the ANC fail to make payment by Friday.”
Meanwhile, as Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba prepares to table his budget for the third time on Tuesday, Gauteng Premier David Mkhura says he is very worried that the city council has not been able to pass its budget.
The council on Monday postponed its special sitting to today to allow councillors enough time to review changes to the budget documents.
Last week, opposition parties in the city council rejected Mashaba’s R59 billion budget for the second time in two weeks, calling it anti poor-and taking issue with the proposed tariff hikes for water and electricity.
Mashaba will table an amended budget today, hoping the Johannesburg council will approve it.
Makhura, who will place the city under administration if it fails to approve its budget this month, says he is worried.
“Am I worried? Yes I’m worried. Johannesburg is a huge municipality and a primary anchor of this province.”
With reports that the city is cash-strapped, Makhura says his government has a close monitoring systems with finances of municipalities.
“If there’s a gap, we’ll not sit back, we’ll move in and address the challenge.”
The Johannesburg Council has only this month to pass its budget or face being placed under administration.