End of the ro­ad for de­pu­ty ma­yor?

The ma­yor E­le­a­no­re Bouw-S­pies, who is o­ver­se­as, con­cur­red with w­hat Wol­ma­rans said.

Knysna-Plett Herald - - Voorblad - Elai­ne King

Per­mis­si­on has been gi­ven for the DA in Knys­na to bring a vo­te of no con­fi­den­ce a­gainst de­pu­ty ma­yor Pe­ter My­ers, which could re­sult in him being re­mo­ved from the po­si­ti­on.

T­his could hap­pen a­ny­ti­me in the ne­ar fu­tu­re. Per­mis­si­on has been gi­ven by the fe­de­ral exe­cu­ti­ve (Fe­dEx) of the DA, w­ho­se chair is Ja­mes Sel­fe.

Alan Win­de, mi­nis­ter of e­co­no­mic op­por­tu­ni­ties for the We­stern Ca­pe go­vern­ment, was the one to tell My­ers of t­his de­ci­si­on, on Mon­day 9 Oc­to­ber.

Sel­fe said the Knys­na DA cau­cus had “lost con­fi­den­ce in Mr My­ers and that pro­ce­du­re was then fol­lo­wed. The We­stern Ca­pe exe­cu­ti­ve com­mit­tee con­clu­ded the­re was a bre­ak­do­wn be­t­ween My­ers and the cau­cus”, which is why per­mis­si­on was gran­ted to go a­he­ad with the vo­te of no con­fi­den­ce.

Ac­cor­ding to Sel­fe, My­ers was gi­ven the op­ti­on to vo­lun­ta­ri­ly re­sign and t­his was ex­plai­ned to him by Win­de. “We would rat­her ha­ve had My­ers re­sign, but he [My­ers] ma­de it cle­ar he would not, so the mat­ter now has to ta­ke its cour­se.”

Re­acti­on from coun­cil­lors

The re­acti­on to t­his news has been va­ried, with so­me op­po­si­ti­on par­ties ex­pres­sing the fee­ling that the DA should sort out “per­so­nal ven­det­tas” or el­se they will be for­ced to ta­ke acti­on, w­hi­le DA coun­cil­lors ha­ve been si­lent.

Knys­na spea­ker and DA PR mem­ber Ge­or­le­ne Wol­ma­rans was u­na­ble to com­ment and said that t­his [the DA cau­cus being gi­ven the go-a­he­ad to hold a meet­ing and vo­te for no con­fi­den­ce in the de­pu­ty ma­yor] was a DA mat­ter and that DA par­ty po­li­cy pro­hi­bits a­ny­bo­dy be­si­des the con­sti­tu­en­cy he­ad from com­menting on the mat­ter. She ad­ded that no DA coun­cil­lor is per­mit­ted to com­ment.

My­ers a­gainst tou­rism SLA

My­ers re­cent­ly fell foul of the DA cau­cus at a meet­ing at which the coun­cil vo­ted to sign a new ser­vi­ce le­vel agreement (SLA) with the to­wn’s tou­rism a­gen­cy Knys­na & Part­ners. At t­his meet­ing, My­ers ma­de his po­si­ti­on cle­ar – that sig­ning the R4-mil­li­on con­tract with Knys­na & Part­ners for a­not­her ye­ar is il­le­gal in terms of the Mu­ni­ci­pal Ma­na­ge­ment Fi­nan­ci­al Act secti­on 173 and that it should ha­ve been put out to ten­der.

At a meet­ing on 11 Au­gust, w­hen the DA cau­cus vo­ted for the SLA to be gran­ted, My­ers wal­ked out of the meet­ing, thus ab­sen­ting him­self from vo­ting.

Alt­hough the SLA was on the a­gen­da and had yet to be ra­ti­fied, it had al­re­a­dy been sig­ned on 11 Ju­ly by mu­ni­ci­pal ma­na­ger Kam C­het­ty, ren­de­ring it in My­er’s o­pi­ni­on “il­le­gal both pro­ce­du­ral­ly and sub­stan­ti­ve­ly [the ac­tu­al con­tent of the agreement being que­s­ti­o­na­ble]”.

The mo­ve to re­mo­ve My­ers has been re­cei­ved with que­s­ti­ons being as­ked: W­hat due pro­cess was fol­lo­wed and w­hat e­vi­den­ce ac­tu­al­ly ca­me be­fo­re the Fe­dEx? Why has the Fe­dEx al­lo­wed the mo­ti­on a­gainst My­ers w­hen he says he has not been gi­ven the op­por­tu­ni­ty to ad­dress the de­ci­si­on ma­kers in per­son or que­s­ti­on the per­sons who broug­ht the com­plaint a­gainst him?

My­ers said, w­hat is mo­re, the que­s­ti­on needs to be as­ked how Win­de and the fe­de­ral exe­cu­ti­ve can aut­ho­ri­se a cour­se of acti­on that is spe­ci­fi­cal­ly pro­hi­bi­ted un­der the cau­cus ru­les and the DA fe­de­ral con­sti­tu­ti­on.

‘Trying to up­hold DA va­lu­es’

As­ked for com­ment My­ers, said he be­lie­ves he is “one of the very few cau­cus mem­bers in Knys­na trying to up­hold DA va­lu­es, prin­ci­ples and po­li­cies, in­clu­ding o­pen, trans­pa­rent, ac­coun­ta­ble and good go­ver­nan­ce”.

The de­pu­ty ma­yor said he has not been told w­hat the char­ges a­gainst him are, and that he has ne­ver been accu­sed of cor­rup­ti­on or any kin dof mal ad­min i st ra­tio n du ring h is ten ure as de­pu­ty ma­yor and Ward 10 coun­cil­lor. “No con­cre­te re­a­sons ha­ve been gi­ven to­me as to how the fe­de­ral exe­cu­ti­ve ca­me to t­his de­ci­si­on,” sta­ted


‘Ser­vi­ce de­li­very suf­fe­ring’

A strong o­pi­ni­on was gi­ven by Co­pe coun­cil­lor Ric­ky Van As­we­gen w­hen he said that un­less the DA sort out their “per­so­nal ven­det­tas inste­ad of fo­cu­sing on se­ri­ous is­su­es”, op­po­si­ti­on par­ties would need to ta­ke acti­on.

“It is no se­cret the pro­blem is be­t­ween the ma­yor and the de­pu­ty ma­yor. I ha­ve spo­ken to both of them and said we can­not as a coun­cil car­ry on li­ke t­his.”

Van As­we­gen said his stan­ce re­mains the sa­me as al­ways. “The DA cre­a­ted its pro­blems and now they need to do so­mething a­bout t­his inste­ad of hol­ding the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty and coun­cil at gun­point. Ser­vi­ce de­li­very, which is w­hat we should be fo­cu­sing on, is al­re­a­dy suf­fe­ring be­cau­se of the DA’s pro­blems and is­su­es.”

‘DA is­su­es bad for the to­wn’

ANC PR coun­cil­lor Ti­ti Gom­bo e­choed Van As­we­gen’s sen­ti­ments. “We will ha­ve to wait and see w­hat the DA do now at a s­pe­ci­al coun­cil meet­ing. Until then we can’t say much ex­cept that if the DA can’t re­sol­ve their in­ter­nal po­li­ti­cs then as op­po­si­ti­on par­ties we will ha­ve to do so­mething.”

Both coun­cil­lors said t­his w­ho­le is­sue within the DA is bad for the to­wn.

ACDP PR coun­cil­lor S­ha­ke­spea­re A­rends said he was u­na­wa­re that the mat­ter was in the pu­blic dom­ain. “Be­cau­se I am in co-go­ver­nan­ce with the DA, I u­su­al­ly ta­ke my le­ad from the ma­yor, and sin­ce she is o­ver­se­as t­his week I will not be a­ble to say a­ny­thing,” he said.

W­hen as­ked to com­ment, mu­ni­ci­pal ma­na­ger C­het­ty rei­te­ra­ted w­hat he said w­hen he took of­fi­ce: “I do not get in­vol­ved in par­ty po­li­ti­cs, but must en­s­u­re the pro­ce­du­res fol­lo­wed are cor­rect.”

We­stern Ca­pe DA re­gi­o­nal he­ad Jaco Londt con­fir­med that t­his mo­ve on­ly af­fects My­ers’ po­si­ti­on as de­pu­ty ma­yor and will not a­mount to a re­mo­val of him as a coun­cil­lor.

P­ho­to: Bo­nis­wa Z­way­e­na

Knys­na de­pu­ty ma­yor Pe­ter My­ers in front of the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty.

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