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- Ministry rejects resolution for council to bear legal costs for council leadership case
The ministry of Local government has rejected a resolution by North West District Council through a motion, calling for council to provide legal representation for its Chairman and Deputy, in a case in which former North West District Council (NWDC) chairman, Kebareeditse Ntsogotho and his deputy Lekonne Masoko dragged council before court for unlawful removal from office.
The duo was replaced through a motion of no confidence by Itumeleng Kelebetseng and Nico Folae as Chairman and Deputy respectively.
Following the resolution, Council Secretary Thuso Motlogelwa had sought advice from the ministry.
Presenting the correspondence from the Ministry of local government during continuation of the full Council on Monday, Acting Council Secretary Masaoko Katorah noted that the correspondence indicated that through powers vested in the Ministry under section 85 of the local government act, the resolution made on the 25th October 2023 was rejected based on its financial implications and impact on public or national interest.
“The Council Secretary is directed to make an official communication to the Council Chair, Deputy chair and Dingake legal practice exonerating council from any action or transaction resulting from the resolution from October 2023 consequently any costs associated with such resolution will be personally bond,” Katorah read.
The resolution was made on a special full council sitting on the 25th October and was voted for by 19 councillors against 5 were against. Tabled by Boyei Councilor Ntlogelang Kebonyekgotla, the motion requested for the first and second respondents to be represented by Dingake Law Firm and Partners and for the third and fourth respondents to be represented by Kebonyemodisa Law Firm. The special sitting turned out to be chaotic, leading to the then Council Secretary walking out furiously while the meeting was on-going.
In June, in a move largely seen as a political gimmick, Ntsogotho and Masoko were ousted from council leadership through a motion of no confidence and they subsequently filed an urgent application before the Maun High Court challenging the legality of the Special Full Council Meeting that led to their removal from office.
After losing the urgent application which they sought to have Kelebetseng and Folae interdicted from assuming their newly elected positions respectively, pending the review application for an order declaring the elections that led to their ouster unlawful, the duo has since approached the Lobatse High Court to have the elections reviewed and be set aside.
The applicants are also seeking an order removing the incumbents from their positions and they (Ntsogotho and Masoko) be reinstated. Furthermore, they demand back pays of the salaries they earned as chairman and deputy from the time of their dethronement.
Meanwhile Kebonyekgotla has posited that the author who sought clarity from the Ministry did not attend the special full council meeting to the end when the resolution was made.
According to the minutes of the meeting Kebonyekgotla has said it was clearly indicated that the council Chief Executive Advisor was part of the meeting but when it was his turn to give advice he failed to do so, but instead had a disagreement and walked out of the meeting, and went ahead and authored the letter seeking advice to the Ministry.
“According to the communication written to the Ministry, the letter was written on the same date that the resolution was made, it shows that the author did not sit until the end of the session to write the letter. Furthermore, the Minister was not made aware of events leading to the resolution,” Kebonyekgotla said.
Meanwhile councillor Kaukapita Kaukapita who was in agreement with the correspondence noted that council made a good move to seek advice from the ministry adding that the correspondence has been noted.