Truman Prince denies DA claim of inciting violence
BEAUFORT West’s former mayor Truman Prince claims he was a “perfect gentleman” during a chaotic council meeting which saw the DA calling for disciplinary action against him for inciting violence.
The DA’s constituency head in the area, Sharna Fernandez, accused members of the ANC, including Prince, of disrupting a council meeting last week which ended in a fist fight.
She said that during the meeting, Prince rose to request additional items to be added to the agenda, and when DA members objected, chaos erupted.
“Affidavits from DA councillors and members reveal that Prince had further demanded that an ANC regional secretary read out a petition in council.
“As the regional secretary is not a member of council, he was not granted a speaking turn, but was requested to submit his petition to council instead. At this point, ANC members in the gallery became aggressive and incidents of assault took place. Prince began encouraging violence by yelling ‘Sisi moer haar! Ek sê moer haar!’”
Fernandez claimed Prince’s utterances incited violence.
But Prince said he was a “perfect gentleman” on that day and, “for the first time in his life”, he kept out of trouble.
He said he rose only to ask that evidence he had obtained related to allegations that DA councillor October Haarvoor put in false claims for travelling expenses be handed over.
Prince, who has since laid fraud charged with the police over the allegations, said the DA was more concerned about his behaviour than that of its own councillors.
“These so-called disruptions did not come from me. My intention was to have the evidence I had gathered surrounding the irregular claims submitted by Mr Haarvoor to the council,” he said.
“I then requested the Speaker if we could read them and I understood when she said we couldn’t, but she had agreed that I could hand them over, but then Noel Constable stood up and said this matter was for another time.
“That was when people started swearing at each other, and others fought. That was when the Speaker asked for a five-minute adjournment, but when we came back, she refused to take them, and that was when fighting started.
“And for the first time in my life, I was a gentleman and did not engage in any ill-discipline. The DA has always been quick to look at me as a troublemaker, and even when I disappoint them they find some way to try and have me discredited.”
Prince said the DA should rather concentrate on making sure it strengthens relationships with the people of Beaufort West.
The DA won the municipality and governs it through a coalition agreement with the Karoo Democratic Force after last year’s local elections.
“They will be very surprised when they lose power. There is a strong anti-DA vibe in Beaufort West and it is only a matter of time before they lose the municipality,” he added.
Fernandez said Prince’s utterances showed his inability to accept having lost power in the municipality.
“Truman needs to start acting like the seasoned politician he says he is and not throw tantrums each time he does not get his way, and allow the DA government to get on with the business of governing and rebuilding the area,” she said.
‘PERFECT GENTLEMAN’: Truman Prince