zolani mzulwini

Zolani Mzulwini


Tel: 031 201 5541

Mobile: 073 647 3770

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We are often approached by our clients to provide legal advice on a very pertinent yet very complex legal aspect of local government, that is whether a political party has the authority or power to remove its member as a municipal councillor.

In order to understand this question fully, it is necessary to have an understanding of the various types of councillors that exist within a municipal council.

The various types of councillors

There are essentially three types of councillors:

(1) Proportional Representation councillors

Proportional Representation councillors (“PR councillors”) are members of a political party and are elected onto the municipal council because of their position on the party list. The party list is basically a list that each political party contesting the election submits to the Independent Electoral Commission (the IEC) listing their candidates for the proportional representation seats within the municipal council with the most preferred candidate being first on the list. PR councillors are not elected directly by members of the public, they are chosen by the party.

(2) Ward councillors (nominated by a political party)

gugu buthelezi

Gugu Buthelezi


Tel: 031 201 5541

Mobile: 072 672 3857

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South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) o.b.o 25 (Applicants) others alleged they were unfairly dismissed by Zenzeleni Cleaning and Transport Services CC (Zenzeleni). SAMWU referred two consolidated disputes (first referral) to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). Conciliation was unsuccessful. At the arbitration the Applicants withdrew the referral as they intended to institute a breach of contract claim in the High Court.

A SAMWU representative acted on the Applicants mandate and withdrew the referral and signed a notice which read “I confirm that I sign this Notice of Withdrawal of my own free will. I understand that there will be no further process in this matter and that I am not able to re-refer or re-open this case”.

Subsequently the Applicants applied to the CCMA on the 2 November 2012 to have their first referral re-enrolled. The application was refused and it was ruled that the CCMA had no jurisdiction to enrol the dispute, based on the doctrine of election. The Commissioner expressed the Applicants should refer a fresh dispute (second referral) and apply for condonation. The applicants did so and tin addition they made an application to review the commissioners ruling refusing to re-enrol their first referral. The CCMA refuses to set down the second referral based on the ruling of the jurisdictional ruling of the Commissioner which is pending on review. The CCMA argue the matter is res judicata alternatively lis pendens.

Legal Issues

  • Urgency