Bouw-S­pies ap­poin­ted GRDM S­pea­ker

Knysna-Plett Herald - - News - Ya­seen Gaf­far

Ward 5 coun­cil­lor and for­mer ma­yor E­le­a­no­re Bouw-S­pies was inau­gu­ra­ted as coun­cil­lor of the Gar­den Rou­te Dis­trict Coun­cil on T­hurs­day 13 De­cem­ber, du­ring a spe­ci­al coun­cil meet­ing. Soon af­ter­wards, she was al­so e­lected as S­pea­ker of the dis­trict mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty.

The S­pea­ker po­si­ti­on be­ca­me va­cant af­ter Mark Wil­lem­se re­sig­ned on 11 Ju­ne this y­e­ar – short­ly af­ter he was e­lected ma­yor of Knysna.

Du­ring the ab­sen­ce of the per­ma­nent s­pea­ker, Ba­rend Groe­ne­wald acted as S­pea­ker and ser­ved for a pe­ri­od of se­ven mont­hs. The ap­point­ment of Bouw-S­pies was met with loud cheers of ap­pro­val as well as sur­pri­se by the com­mu­ni­ty of Knysna who on so­ci­al me­dia que­s­ti­o­ned w­het­her it was le­gal for two mem­bers of one fa­mi­ly to ser­ve on the sa­me coun­cil. Bouw-S­pies' hus­band Ro­wan al­so ser­ves on the coun­cil for the DA.

A­not­her is­sue the com­mu­ni­ty pon­de­red was why the DA would ap­point so­meo­ne in that po­si­ti­on who was im­pli­ca­ted in fraud, ac­cor­ding to a 17-pa­ge re­port com­pi­led by De S­wardt Vo­gel My­am­bo At­tor­neys and sub­mit­ted to Knysna coun­cil e­ar­lier this y­e­ar.

DA East Re­gi­on se­cre­ta­ry Ter­tuis Sim­mers, ho­we­ver, said that no­thing in the coun­try's con­sti­tu­ti­on or any mu­ni­ci­pal le­gis­la­ti­on pre­vents two fa­mi­ly mem­bers from ser­ving in the sa­me coun­cil, but rat­her DA re­gu­la­ti­ons. He said that ac­cor­ding to the re­gu­la­ti­ons, the re­le­vant exe­cu­ti­ve may ap­ply to obtain per­mis­si­on to al­lows this.

"The Fe­de­ral Can­di­da­tes' E­lecti­on Com­mit­tee (the FCEC) ga­ve their per­mis­si­on as per the re­gu­la­ti­ons,” he said.

And with re­gards to the al­le­ga­ti­ons a­gainst Bouw-S­pies, Sim­mers said: "In­no­cent until pro­ven ot­her­wi­se is ap­pli­ca­ble.

“Coun­cil­lor Bouw-S­pies de­nies any wrong­doing, the­re is an on­going in­ves­ti­ga­ti­on which must be re­spected.

W­ha­te­ver the re­sult of that in­ves­ti­ga­ti­on, se­ri­ous acti­ons will be ta­ken if it is ne­ces­si­ta­ted."

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