The City of Johannesburg has obtained a writ of execution against the African National Congress (ANC) for its failure to pay over R300 000 in legal fees owed to the City and its residents.
Executive mayor Herman Mashaba said that should the ANC fail to make the payment by June 15, property worth R300 000 will be seized from the ANC headquarters, Luthuli House.
The costs arose from the ANC's urgent application to the South Gauteng High Court in December in an attempt to table a motion of no confidence against Mashaba and council speaker Vasco da Gama.
"The high court struck found that the ANC's motion lacked the urgency which they attempted to fabricate into existence," Mashaba said.
"The court struck the ANC's application from the roll and awarded costs in favour of the City as a result of the ANC's application being 'devoid of urgency'."
Judge Sydwell Shangisa asked the ANC: "What calamity will befall you" should the motions of no confidence not be voted for on an urgent basis?
The ANC was unable to substantiate their argument and a cost order was granted against them.
"The ANC's baseless accusations were exposed as nothing more than a smokescreen to regain control of the City by any means possible," Mashaba said.
"It was unfortunate that court's time and taxpayer's money had to be used to prove this basic point. However, more concerning is the ANC's failure to respect the court order which instructed the ANC to pay for the City's legal costs."
Mashaba said that the reason behind ANC's failure to make this payment may be a result of the ANC's "continuous and willful disregard for public money".
"The days of the ANC being able to abuse public money in the City of Johannesburg are over and we will not hesitate to execute this court order should the ANC fail to make payment by Friday," he said.
Regional spokesperson Jodilee Matongo said that only the national spokesperson could comment on the writ of execution. Multiple attempts to reach national and provincial spokespersons were unsuccessful.