DA fires Kouga coun­cil­lor for not vot­ing ac­cord­ing to cau­cus de­ci­sion

The Herald (South Africa) - - NEWS - Odette Parfitt parfitto@ti­soblack­star.co.za

AF­TER four years as a DA coun­cil­lor in the Kouga Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, Des­mond Petersen has been fired with im­me­di­ate ef­fect fol­low­ing dis­ci­plinary ac­tion.

Yes­ter­day, the party’s pro­vin­cial dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee chair­woman, Vicky Knoetze, said Petersen had been fired for vot­ing in a man­ner other than in ac­cor­dance with a party cau­cus de­ci­sion.

Petersen, who has been a coun­cil­lor since 2013 and was ap­pointed as the mem­ber of the may­oral com­mit­tee re­spon­si­ble for in­fra­struc­ture and plan­ning when the DA won the Kouga mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion last year, con­firmed his dis­missal.

An­other may­oral com­mit­tee mem­ber, Dr Nico Botha, was also re­moved from the com­mit­tee but re­mains a coun­cil­lor.

Botha de­clined to com­ment re­gard­ing his re­moval, say­ing: “I re­serve my right to take fur­ther ac­tion, but I am still de­cid­ing on the way for­ward.”

The DA’s con­stituency leader in the Tsitsi-Kouga re­gion, Dr Malcolm Figg, said Petersen had been dis­missed fol­low­ing a dis­ci­plinary process.

“He was found guilty dur­ing the process of vi­o­lat­ing in­ter­nal cau­cus rules. As a re­sult of his DA mem­ber­ship be­ing ter­mi­nated, he could no longer be a coun­cil­lor,” Figg said.

Knoetze said dis­ci­plinary ac­tion had been taken fol­low­ing a coun­cil meet­ing on Au­gust 31.

She said Petersen had voted “in a man­ner other than in ac­cor­dance with a party cau­cus de­ci­sion [and this] gave rise to sec­tion 3.5.2 of the fed­eral con­sti­tu­tion of the Demo­cratic Al­liance tak­ing ef­fect in that a mem­ber who ceases to be a mem­ber loses all priv­i­leges of party mem­ber­ship.

“[He] was given the pre­scribed time frame in which to re­spond [and] he re­quested an ex­tended time pe­riod, which was granted.

“[Petersen], how­ever, re­sponded that he had de­cided not to con­tinue with the case and was un­able to give rea­sons as to why his mem­ber­ship should not be ter­mi­nated.”

Petersen was elected as coun­cil­lor for Ward 5 in Hu­mans­dorp in the mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions in Au­gust last year, when the DA won 17 seats in coun­cil and the ANC se­cured 12 seats.

His suc­ces­sor will be ap­pointed fol­low­ing a by-elec­tion on De­cem­ber 13

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