Conflict of interest calls in Kimberley
CANDIDATES who will be contesting the ward 24 by-elections in Kimberley on June 14 believe that there may be a conflict of interest, where the DA candidate, who is also the chief executive of the Northern Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Nocci), Sharon Steyn, will be standing to be elected as a ward councillor.
The vacancy arose in voting districts in Lindene, Rhodesdene, Carters Glen and Hadison Park following the death of DA ward councillor Dirk van der Merwe earlier this year.
The ward is historically a DA stronghold.
EFF provincial leader Aubrey Baartman said the party had selected a candidate to contest the ward.
“The DA candidate is interesting, as there could be a potential clash because Nocci is not supposed to be aligned to any political party.
“Steyn should have stood as an independent candidate if she chose to enter the political arena,” said Baartman.
Freedom Front Plus candidate Kobus van der Berg was convinced he would have the upper hand in the by-election.
“I will be representing the majority of residents in this voting district. Our members are increasing on a daily basis,” said Van der Berg.
He pointed out that being the Nocci chief executive and a ward candidate were both full-time jobs.
“Nocci is supposed to be an apolitical organisation. The two roles are bound to overlap.”
ANC provincial spokesperson Naledi Gaosekwe chose not to comment on the DA candidate.
The ANC’s Melga Tobias will contest the by-election next week.
Steyn, meanwhile, denied there would be any conflict of interest and said she was standing in her personal capacity as a ward councillor, and Nocci would be her first priority.
“I am focused on improving service delivery and making a difference. I will have two separate phones… and my ward councillor phone will be switched on after hours and during weekends and I will assign someone else if a complaint is received during working hours,” she said.
“It is rather an extension of what I am doing: I keep people informed of what is happening in the city.”
‘NO CONFLICT’: Nocci chief executive Sharon Steyn