DA ousts Speaker at ‘illegal’ meeting
ANC slams move by Stellenbosch council
THE SPEAKER of Stellenbosch’s municipal council has been ousted by the DA in a move the ANC has blasted as “illegal”.
This is the latest in a series of events that has spotlighted the embattled municipality.
ANC speaker Gordon Pheiffer was removed from his position during a special council meeting yesterday.
The DA-led coalition which seized control of the muni c i p a l i t y from the ANC last month voted out Pheiffer and replaced him with DA councillor Hannes van der Poel.
The motion was proposed by Deputy Mayo r Johannes Andrews, who said the council had no confidence in Pheiffer.
But, the occasion was not without drama.
When the council meeting began, Pheiffer several times asked for acting Municipal Manager Duppie du Plessis to leave the meeting, which he refused to do.
Pheiffer subsequently declared that he could not allow the meeting to continue “under these circumstances”, closed the proceedings and said the meeting would have to be rescheduled.
He walked out, followed quickly by the council’s ANC members.
However, the DA and its alliance partners, which make up the majority of council, voted for the meeting to continue, after which the vote to oust Pheiffer was taken.
This latest occurrence is one of many that has plagued the municipality since last year.
They started when corruption allegations emerged against former mayor Patrick Swartz and for mer deputy mayor Cameron Mcako. The claims were apparently uncovered by former municipal manager Ian Kenned, who has since left the municipality.
Mcako and Swartz were stripped of their powers, and then Mcako was subsequently “recalled” by the ANC.
Shortly afterwards, the DA won over the ANC ’s alliance partners and seized control of the council. Cyril Jooste was elected mayor, while Andrews was chosen as his
‘We have a court interdict related to a similar incident but don’t have plans to act against the coalition’
Kenned stayed on, prompting the resignation of four directors, senior municipal officials, who claimed they had been “intimidated”.
Kenned eventually resigned in December, although the circumstances of his departure are unclear. He was reportedly followed soon after by the municipality’s chief legal adviser Mervyn Doralingo.
Speaking after yesterday’s meeting, Stellenbosch’s ANC chief whip Willie Ortell said the meeting had continued “illegally” since Pheiffer had already closed it.
“We have a court interdict related to a similar incident, in which the DA just continued a meeting after the speaker had already closed it,” he said.
“At this stage, we don’t yet have plans to take any action against the coalition.”