Ward 1 coun­cil­lor on thin ice

The Herald (South Africa) - - FRONT PAGE - No­maz­ima Nkosi nkosino@ti­soblack­star.co.za

THE DA has given its youngest Nelson Man­dela Bay coun­cil­lor un­til to­day to ex­plain why he should not be fired for skip­ping pay­ments on a com­pul­sory tithe to the party.

This comes as Ward 1 coun­cil­lor Rashied Adams is also un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion for al­leged poor per­for­mance, with some res­i­dents com­plain­ing that he was of­ten awol and did not re­spond to calls or mes­sages.

Adams, 26, was a BSc en­vi­ron­men­tal sci­ence stu­dent at the Nelson Man­dela Uni­ver­sity when he was elected to lead one of the metro’s big­gest wards last year.

Three months ago, the DA was com­pelled to bring in PR coun­cil­lor Le­an­der Kruger to as­sist with the run­ning of the ward, which cov­ers areas like Sum­mer­strand, Seav­iew and Mount Pleas­ant.

DA East­ern Cape chair­man An­drew Whit­field said yes­ter­day that Adams had been served with a no­tice to sus­pend his mem­ber­ship from the party fol­low­ing an in­ter­nal dis­ci­plinary mat­ter.

“The DA fed­eral con­sti­tu­tion states that a mem­ber ceases to be a mem­ber of the party if he or she is in de­fault with the pay­ment of any com­pul­sory pub­lic rep­re­sen­ta­tive con­tri­bu­tion for a pe­riod of two months af­ter hav­ing been no­ti­fied in writ­ing that he or she is in ar­rears and fails to make nec­es­sary ar­range­ments or fails to com­ply with such ar­range­ment for pay­ment of ar­rears,” Whit­field said.

He said the DA provin­cial ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee would dis­cuss Adams’s per­for­mance next week.

Eu­gene Fin­cham, who has lived in Theescombe for 45 years, said Adams never ar­rived at ward meet­ings and could not be con­tacted.

“It’s like he doesn’t ex­ist,” Fin­cham said.

“At one of the meet­ings, I asked where he was and why he wasn’t there.

“I queried how he could be a ward coun­cil­lor not hav­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in prop­erty.

“He doesn’t have a track record and then they go and put him in such a big ward.”

Hume­wood res­i­dent Don­ald Gray said Adams had sim­ply dis­ap­peared from his of­fice with­out any warn­ing to res­i­dents.

Gray said the DA knew about the Adams sit­u­a­tion but was not do­ing any­thing about it. “The coun­cil­lor has just dis­ap­peared and there’s been no ex­pla­na­tion given as to where he’s gone or why he’s gone.

“Sud­denly Le­an­der Kruger is here in his place, with­out any no­tice from the DA,” Gray said.

Whit­field con­firmed the DA had re­ceived a num­ber of com­plaints from res­i­dents about Adams.

“We take these al­le­ga­tions se­ri­ously,” he said ear­lier in the week.

“The mat­ter has been re­ferred to the provin­cial ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee meet­ing next week.”

Re­porters made more than 10 calls this week to two of Adams’s cell­phone num­bers listed on the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s data­base.

Adams also did not re­spond to four texts and two e-mails re­quest­ing com­ment.

He was not avail­able at his Sum­mer­strand of­fice when re­porters vis­ited on Wed­nes­day.

If Adams failed to give a con­vinc­ing re­sponse by to­day, he could be kicked out of the DA and would there­fore no longer be a coun­cil­lor, Whit­field said.

The de­ci­sion would be made by the party’s na­tional bosses.

Should the po­si­tion be­come va­cant, a by-elec­tion would be held for Ward 1.

RASHIED ADAMS

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