Dice rolls and falls in Wasserman’s favour
Contender one step closer to mayoral seat as Martin Young resigns
The DA's Martin Young resigned last week as Knysna councillor effective Friday 2 November – which paves the way for Michelle Wasserman to be sworn in in his place earlier than initially expected.
Young said in his resignation letter that it was with a “mixture of excitement and sadness” that he submitted his resignation “to pursue an excellent opportunity in policy development in Cape Town”.
“The past two years as a DA councillor have been exciting and at times very challenging. With this new opportunity in Cape Town it means that our mayor-elect, Michelle Wasserman, can be sworn in earlier and start the process of getting Knysna back on track.”
Jaco Londt, DA Western Cape East Region chair, released a statement saying this opens the door for Wasserman to be sworn in as a councillor after she was elected as the DA’s mayoral candidate following a thorough selection process where six members put their names forward to be considered as mayor.
“The DA councillors in Knysna will now put in place the necessary steps to elect the new mayor at a council meeting,” stated Londt.
When asked to elaborate, Londt only said that all DA members are expected to respect and adhere to the outcomes of the party processes.
One more hurdle to overcome
There does, however, remain one more hurdle for Wasserman before she ascends the chair as leader of Knysna’s community.
Current mayor Mark Willemse said the only way Wasserman would be able to become mayor is for him to resign or be removed via a motion of no confidence. “The party has written to Cllr Willemse to do his bit to facilitate the above,” Londt said, and referred to the statement by the party’s federal council chair James Selfe in which it is stated that the DA’s Federal Legal Commission’s decision to uphold Willemse’s appeal to his conviction of misconduct will be placed under review.
Read more about Willemse’s successful appeal elsewhere on this page.
Asked if he would resign, Willemse said, “I have no comment on that,” adding that meetings with DA leadership in the coming weeks would clarify his position going forward.
Many insiders say Willemse is unlikely to resign in the near future. Meanwhile, the DA last week instructed Willemse to resign from his position as councillor in the Garden Route District Municipality (formerly Eden), Willemse confirmed.
Willemse was previously Speaker at the district municipality but resigned after being elected mayor in Knysna. He remained councillor until last week.
“I am no longer a councillor at the district municipality,” stated Willemse, who also confirmed that the party has replaced him with former Knysna mayor Eleanore Bouw-Spies.
The DA’s preferred choice for the position of Knysna mayor, Michelle Wasserman.