The City of Joburg has labeled the execution of the arrest warrant as an ‘abuse of legal processes’.

The City of Johannesburg is unhappy after authorities came knocking at municipal manager Floyd Brink’s home amid a legal dispute.

A sheriff of the court was unable to affect a warrant of arrest on Brink at his residence in Roodepoort, west of Johannesburg, on Wednesday.

The sheriff was enforcing a contempt of court order in a legal case involving a resident whose services had been unlawfully disconnected.

The metropolitan municipality failed to adhere to a court order that had prohibited the city from disconnecting utilities.

Floyd Brink’s arrest warrant ‘defective’

The warrant was, however, “defective and erroneous” because Brink’s name was misspelt so it could not be legally executed.

The city labeled the move as an “abuse of legal processes”.

“Of concern, was the attempt to execute the warrant at the private residence of the city manager, undermining his rights and that of his minor children and family.

“Given that the matter arises out of the official capacity of the city manager and his official responsibilities, it ordinarily follows that any such action, were it legal and just, should’ve been undertaken at the known business address of the city and not at a private residence,” the municipality said in a statement on Wednesday.

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Joburg’s Mayor Kabelo Gwamanda said he believed Brink had become a target of “incessant harassment by certain political actors utilising the courts to compromise and prevent him from exercising his duties”.

“This attack on his person and character has now been orchestrated to embarrass and target him and his family and to create a public perception that the city manager is a suspect in a criminal matter.”

The city confirmed that it would lodge an urgent application to the court to stay the execution of the warrant.

The municipality will also seek to prevent “any further abuse of the legal system to harass officials of the city in the manner in which the city manager has been targeted”.

“Equally, the city endeavours to resolve any rates and utility account disputes in an amicable, transparent and cooperative manner with the affected clients to avoid unnecessary and protracted litigation.

“In this regard, we urge residents to always utilise the available dispute resolution mechanisms which have proved to be effective in assisting residents with billing queries and complaints,” Gwamanda added.

DA slams ‘disgraceful showdown’

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) expressed its dissatisfaction over the failure to execute the warrant.

“This showdown between an amalgamation of powers is a disgrace. It is a sad day that police worked against law and order instead of in support of law and order.

“These actions by police make them part of our corruption problem instead of helping us solve crime and corruption.

“The fact that 13 unmarked vehicles were preventing a court order from being enforced makes one wonder if these are the VIP protectors paid for by the ratepayer,” DA Joburg caucus leader Belinda Kayser-Echeozonjoku said.

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