Myers and Willemse appeal could take years
In news that is likely to make detractors of Knysna mayor Mark Willemse and Ward 10 councillor Peter Myers lapse into a state of chronic melancholy, the two have stated their intention to appeal the misconduct verdict brought against them by the DA.
The appeal process to overturn the ruling could take months, a year or even longer to be finalised. The two "rogue" DA members had until last Friday to accept sanctions, which included that Willemse resign from his position and Myers be removed from the mayoral committee.
The actions against the two councillors follow a council meeting on 6 June 2018, when former mayor Eleanor Bouw-Spies was ousted and Willemse voted into her position. Willemse and Myers voted with the ANC to remove Bouw-Spies as mayor – which led to the disciplinary action being taken against them. Both Willemse and Myers maintain that they voted with their conscience.
Myers said this week that he and Willemse have requested recordings of their disciplinary hearing held a month ago for transcription before submitting written arguments to the DA's federal legal commission (FLC) for consideration. Only then will an appeal date be set. “This could take place in about six weeks; we definitely expect an outcome before the end of the year. Should our appeal fail, we have other avenues open to us for appeal,” he said, adding that going to the FLC was the final internal process of the DA, and should their appeal succeed, none of the sanctions would apply. “If they rule against us, we will then approach to the high court,” he said.
Myers reiterated that he and Willemse are committed DA members and the action against them would not discourage them to leave the party. “We believe in what we are doing.”
Myers said he does not rule out reaching a possible deal with the DA, to resolve the matter without having to go through all the trouble of hearings and the appeal processes.