Randall Williams’ amended resignation letter ‘not valid’

The City of Tshwane is preparing to elect a new mayor after a formal legal opinion established that Randall Williams’ amended resignation letter was invalid and unlawful.

Williams initially resigned as executive mayor in the City of Tshwane on February 13, saying that he wanted to ensure stability. He said at the time that he did not want the political instability in the cities of Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni to spill over to Tshwane.

His resignation was calculated to take effect from midnight on that day, however, a few hours later the mayor tendered an amended resignation letter in which he said he would only vacate the office by February 28, contending that his extended stay would ensure that the “core work” of the city continued uninterrupted.

“After consultation with various political parties in Tshwane and in order to ensure the continuity of the work of council, I have subsequently written to the speaker and chief whip and amended my resignation to take effect from midnight on 28 February 2023,” Williams wrote at the time.

“This will ensure that the core work of the city is not interrupted and that the mayoral committee remains in place. During this period, I have requested that [the] MMC for finance and leader of executive business, Alderman Peter Sutton, take on the role of acting executive mayor.”

During a media briefing on Tuesday, City of Tshwane council speaker Murunwa Makwarela confirmed that his office had sought legal advice after the two resignation letters sparked controversy and confusion.

According to Makwarela, the former mayor’s initial resignation has been found to be valid and legally binding. He said the legal opinion concluded that the second resignation was unlawful.

“Yesterday [Monday], the 20th of February 2023 my office was furnished with an official [and] signed legal opinion which confirmed that the initial resignation of the executive mayor, which was tendered on the 13th of February 2023, was valid and thus the resignation took effect on the midnight of the same day, and that the amendment of date was unlawful and has no force and effect,” said Makwarela.

Makwarela said a meeting that was scheduled for Thursday has been postponed to prioritise a council sitting where a new mayor will be elected.

“The scheduled council meeting for Thursday, 23 February 2023, will be postponed as the focus will now have to shift to convening a council meeting to elect a new mayor,” he said.

Also read: Tshwane city council speaker cancels members’ special sitting

Tshwane special sitting to decide on Williams’ U-turn on resignation

Tshwane mayor resigns to ensure stability in multi-party coalition

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