ANC flag. (Paul Herman, News24, file)
Cape Town - George Mayor Charles Standers has resigned from his position with immediate effect, he said in a letter to the DA on Thursday.
His reasons included "deeply troubling" interference from the Democratic Alliance's regional structures in the work of the local municipality, alleged silence from the DA's George caucus over corruption in the municipality, and "racist practices" within the local caucus.
He said he could not stand for, and had fought against, the corruption, and said the racism was wrong, created disunity, and affected service delivery.
His letter was addressed to the DA’s provincial chairperson.
Standers on Wednesday also announced his resignation from the DA, to be effective at the end of his term after the local government elections next week. He asked that his name be removed from the party's proportional representation list for the elections.
The African National Congress in George was reportedly holding an urgent press conference on Wednesday to introduce Standers as a new member of the party.
DA constituency head Jaco Londt said the deputy mayor would stand in for the final six days of Standers’ term.
Standers, who was in the news following the alleged assault on his wife during an argument over car keys earlier this year, said the DA leaked untested charges against him to the media, tarnishing his "integrity, character and personhood".
Londt dismissed Standers’ reasons for resigning as "just allegations by someone facing disciplinary steps… who is jumping ship at the end".
Londt on Thursday confirmed that Standers was being investigated for financial mismanagement.
DA Western Cape deputy leader Bonginkosi Madikizela said they had been reliably informed that Standers was joining the ANC. It was understandable that he would join a party that "doesn’t care for the rule of law, and that does not care about honest government", he said in a statement.
"This would make some sense, because the real Charles Standers is unfortunately not a man committed to honest government. That is why he currently faces disciplinary charges against him; and that is why he was not returned as the party’s mayoral candidate," Madikizela said.
"He is jumping ship now because he knows he was going to be exposed for this conduct once the DA had finalised its investigation. He knew he was going to be fired soon. The bottom line is that, as the mayor, the buck stops with him and he must continue to answer for irregularities under his watch."
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