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DISMISS COMMISSION REPORT - SANDLANE

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MATSAPHA – On ice Matsapha Town Council Sandlane Zwane wants the commission of inquiry report that sends them packing dismissed.


Zwane, who was the Mayor of the Matsapha Town Council, has written a letter to the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Prince Simelane, stating why the report should be dismissed.


In his letter, dated April 13, 2019, Zwane informed the minister that only His Majesty King Mswati III had the powers to appoint commissions. He said the only cognizable commission constitutionally was the human rights commission.


Zwane said it was this commission that should have undertaken the exercise of investigating the Matsapha Town Council. He said the completed exercise by commission wherein after completion; Prince Simelane sent them (councillors) letters stating why they should not be dismissed from office.
“The present exercise of showing cause why the recommendations of the enquiry should not be adopted is a quasi judicial function falling outside of a ministerial function in terms of constitutional definition and expertise to undertake that function,” Zwane said.


He said if the recommendations of the commission could be implemented, the culmination of the exercise was a job loss consequence. Zwane said it was in this spirit that the exercise ought to be handled judiciously and given the due process of industrial law which needed to be followed.


Exercise


Furthermore, he said: “It is common cause that this exercise has been chaired by the Attorney General’s agent and the document has been authored by that office or under its strict supervision.
“Your office takes legal advice from the Attorney General. It shows that your office will invariably implement the recommendations as they were done by your agent and legal advisor. It would take a miracle for the honourable minister to be persuaded against the findings of his agent.”

 


Zwane further stated that the commission’s report highlighted the status of the council. He said there doubt was cast on the standing of the council as whether it was an urban government, a town council, a municipality or any other entity.


This, he said, meant that the instrument that they allegedly violated was unclear. Zwane said given these developments, there was no basis tenable at law which would make the councillors performance found wanting.


“If there is no benchmark, there can never be a violation of a benchmark.”
He further said the minister could rely on pre-constitution piece of legislation only after it had been attuned and modified to match the spirit and letter of the constitution.


Modification


Zwane said at the time of the commission, the modification of the law had not been done; hence, the unconstitutionality of relying on structures created by pre-constitution legislation.


Meanwhile, leading to this letter, which he gave to Prince Simelane after their meeting on where he had to explain why the minister should not implement the recommendations of the commission, Zwane had written a number of letters to different government departments.


Some of the government departments which he copied the letter to included the Prime Minister’s office, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and Clerk to Parliament’s office among others.
At the initial stages of the inquiry, Zwane had stated that the commission of enquiry into the affairs of Matsapha Town Council need to be stopped with immediate effect.


In the letter, which was dated February 18, 2019, he said it was common course that the government ought to transmit its matters according to the procedures of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Eswatini at all times.


He said any deviation from the ethics would inevitably be rejected. He said in handling of such matters, the course should be in line with the Constitution.


He alleged that the Constitution demarcated the beginning of a new era and if there was anything to import from the old era, the statute specifically assigned for that was in Sections 252, 268 and 270.
“The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development is outright in breach of the supreme law of the land and should discontinue the violation of the constitution right away,” the mayor claimed in the letter.
He claimed that this was because the ministry did not have the authority to conduct the work, specifically outlined in the Constitution as it was supposed to be done by the Human Rights Commission.
On that note, the mayor claimed that the illegal commission was coursing people to slander each other including the witnesses such that the interpersonal animosities in Matsapha Town Council had reached an all time high, leaving the general public open to a mountain of lawsuits.
Issues
Zwane had alleged that some of the issues touched on by the commission were still pending in court but the commissioners continue to ask questions on same.
Furthermore, he claimed that the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development had allegedly failed the State and the nation at large for its failure to implement the Tinkhundla system of governance in all towns and cities in the Kingdom.
“Section 218 of the Local Government Act clearly states that the ministry shall have turned all the towns and cities to the Ministry of Local Government within five years from the commencement of the Constitution, that is about 15 years ago,” he claimed.
 “I kindly request for your urgent intervention to stop forthwith the continuation of the illegal process and illegal investigation called a commission of enquiry into the affairs of Matsapha Town Council,” he said.
The mayor added that as councillors they were democratically elected into office and had the ability to sort out their own affairs as per the constitutional spirit of decentralisation. He further claimed that government stands to be liable to mountains of lawsuit should the process continue unabated.

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