Court orders removal of Sol Plaatje mayor following violent protests

Sol Plaatje Municipality Executive Mayor Mangaliso Matika has been ordered to vacate his office with immediate effect by the Northern Cape High Court on Tuesday.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) filed an application for an urgent interdict, in which it wanted the outcome of a special council meeting, where a motion of no confidence in Matika was passed last week Wednesday, to be upheld.

Northern Cape DA leader Andrew Louw said that the party's legal counsel had finally reached an agreement with Matika's lawyers.

"The interdict [application] was meant to be heard at 09:30, but because of the back and forth between the lawyers, Judge Cecile Williams could only make a decision at 15:00 today," he told News24.

The matter will be finalised on August 22.

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On Tuesday morning, Kimberley residents took to the streets to demand Matika's removal when he refused to vacate his office.

Two weeks ago, a peaceful protest to the municipal buildings turned violent when Matika chose to address protesters from inside the building.

Numerous shops and government infrastructure were vandalised and looted during the protests.

Louw expressed his satisfaction with the Northern Cape High Court's upholding of the interests of the community.

"We are very happy that the courts have confirmed what the community has been telling Matika and his cronies in the ANC for a long time - that it is time for him to return the Audi bought with the people's money, to bring back the keys to the mayoral office and to hand over the mayoral chain so that the process of rebuilding the municipality can begin," he said.

"It is truly tragic that the situation has deteriorated this far and that protests in Kimberley have kept children from school, residents from receiving much-needed government services and businesses from being able to operate."

Matika was not immediately available for comment.