In consequence of a court order that Sakeliga obtained on 18 January 2022 against the Mogalakwene municipality in Limpopo compelling the municipal manager to hand over to Sakeliga several records such as financial reports and council resolutions, and the municipal manager having disregarded the order, Sakeliga obtained a court order to find the acting municipal manager guilty of contempt of court. The municipal manager therefore was facing imprisonment and began complying with the 18 January order.
This case is important because it is becoming general practice, especially at decayed municipalities, not to comply with court orders, and this is weakening legal remedies obtained against the state. Court cases sometimes have to be carried through to contempt proceedings to ensure the efficiency of litigation.
Status of case: Completed
Case commenced: 25 August 2022
Court: High Court: Polokwane
Judgment handed down: 18 November 2022
|25 November 2022
|The municipality substantively complies with the order of 21 January and the case closes.
|18 November 2022
|The case is heard on the unopposed roll. The court orders that the Mogalakwena Local Municipality, the current municipal manager as well as a former municipal manager are in contempt of the court’s order of 21 January. The former municipal manager is sentenced to sixty days imprisonment, suspended provided the municipality complies with the order of 21 January within seven days.
|19 September 2022
|After weeks of evasion by the acting municipal manager, attorneys for Sakeliga reach him by phone to make him aware of the contempt application against him.
|25 August 2022
|Sakeliga launches a contempt application against the municipal manager, due to a failure to comply with the January 21 court order.
|16 March 2022
|The municipal manager is summoned by Sakeliga to comply with the court order of 21 January 2022.
|14 February 2022
|The court order of 21 January is served on the municipal manager by sheriff.
|21 January 2022
|The municipality ignored Sakeliga’s record request of 18 May 2021. As a result, Sakeliga obtains a court order to compel the municipal manager to deliver the requested records.
|18 May 2021
|Sakeliga submits a records request to the municipality under the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA).