DA bid to remove Knysna mayor fails

2019-05-31 13:33
Knysna Mayor Mark Willems. (knysna.gov.za)

Knysna Mayor Mark Willems. (knysna.gov.za)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The DA's latest attempt to remove Knysna Mayor Mark Willemse, who is himself a DA councillor, has failed.

Seven of the nine DA members sitting on the town council on Thursday brought a motion of no confidence against Willemse, the municipality confirmed.

Twelve councillors voted against the no-confidence motion, while seven voted for and there was one spoilt ballot.

The motion was brought by Michelle Wasserman, the would-be mayor elect. 

In another setback for the DA, council speaker Georlene Wolmarans was removed as speaker following an ANC-sponsored motion of no confidence.

Wolmarans was replaced by ANC councillor Mertle Gombo.

In a statement, DA Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madikizela said the motion was tabled because "Mayor Willemse and councillor [Peter] Myers, made a decision to go against their caucus and against a request by the leadership and voted with the ANC in a MONC [motion of no confidence] to remove the [previous] DA mayor", last year.

"In the process, Willemse accepted and was elected as mayor by a majority of ANC councillors. He has since been kept in his position by the ANC... he is effectively an ANC mayor."

Madikizela said the DA caucus had thus lost confidence in him as mayor due to the ANC councillors' continued support.

He added that "a person cannot execute the duties of a mayor if he/she does not have the support of their party, councillors and officials".

"The work of this municipality must not stand still, and it is crucial that a clear strategy with decisive leadership be restored, so that the issues facing the community of Knysna can be addressed."

Last June, Willemse told supporters after his election as mayor that the implications of his election were unprecedented, and indicated that he wanted to work with ANC councillors for the good of the town, News24 reported.

READ: 'This has never happened before' - new Knysna mayor amid DA tussle

"I'm overwhelmed by your show of force to keep me on as mayor," he told supporters, as seen in a video on Facebook and reported by the Knysna-Plett Herald.

"We need to keep this force going. I'm not going to stand back," he said to cheers and applause. "I'm not going to allow this process to be steamrolled.

"The DA leadership is talking and trying to find solutions because this is unique; this has never happened in the country before. It has never happened where the ANC and the DA are working together for the good of a town."

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    da  |  mark willemse  |  cape town

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.