Blow for ex-Knysna municipal manager as case is struck off the roll

Former Knysna municipal manager Ombali Sebola’s leave to appeal the order and judgment of the Cape Town High Court, which nullified his appointment, has been struck off the roll.

His application for leave to appeal followed judgment on May 10 at the same court, declaring that he should vacate the office as his appointment to the municipal manager’s position was null and void, therefore unlawful.

The DA initially submitted an application to have him removed from his managerial position because the party questioned his qualifications and leadership abilities.

Ineffective in his position

The DA claimed that Sebola has been ineffective in his position as Knysna suffered from refuse removal, sewer management, and water supply issues, among other things.

Acting Judge Mas-udah Pangarker had ruled that the court order would only affect Sebola’s future in office and not affect the decisions he took while he served as municipal manager from the date of his appointment to the date of the court order.

“The effect of the declaration of invalidity was that Mr Sebola was to vacate the position of municipal manager, and the further remedial relief was that the appointment of a municipal manager was remitted to the Knysna municipal council, which was to commence the advertisement process afresh,” said Pangarker.

“At all material times during the matter and the hearing, Nandi Bulabula Incorporated were the legal representatives of the municipal respondents, which included Mr Sebola as the fourth respondent.”

Leave to appeal application

Sebola, according to Pangarker, did not officially apply for leave to appeal with the registrar but rather attached it to an e-mail that was sent to her on May 16.

Sebola had since given the court a run-around on authorising an attorney to act in court.

This led the counsel for the MEC and the DA to submit that in a case where there was no authorisation for an attorney to act, the leave to appeal application should be struck off the roll.

“It is ordered that the operation and execution of the court’s judgment and orders handed down on 10, 2024, in the abovementioned matters are not suspended and shall remain operative and be executable notwithstanding Mr Sebola’s amendment to leave to appeal application[s], any petition for leave too appeal, and/or appeal,” said Pangarker.


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