Rogue DA councillor resigns after helping ANC wrestle Cederberg local municipality from DA

2019-06-26 17:26
ANC provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs with Bertie Zass as he signs his ANC membership forms. (Tammy Petersen)

ANC provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs with Bertie Zass as he signs his ANC membership forms. (Tammy Petersen)

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The Speaker of the Cederberg local municipality on Wednesday helped the ANC vote out the mayor and deputy mayor, before resigning from his position to join the ANC.

DA Mayor William Farmer and ADC deputy mayor Francina Sokuyeka were removed through a Motion of Removal in a special council sitting.

After the election of the new mayor and deputy mayor – the ANC’s Sylvia Quinta and Mariaan Nell – DA councilor and Speaker Bertie Zass resigned.

Both the ANC and DA had five seats. The ADC has one.

Zass at a press conference on Wednesday in Cape Town said one of his reasons for walking away from the blue party was his support of land expropriation without compensation.

He said he had broached the issue with provincial leadership, asking what the party would "do with [him]" if he as a DA member put a claim on another DA member's land.

"I am still waiting for an answer," Zass said.

"I believe in the new dawn, President [Cyril] Ramaphosa's leadership and land redistribution for people."

He further argued that the DA delivered services to a few, but not the majority of people.

'Disappointed and furious'

Lorraine Botha, the DA’s constituency head for the Cederberg, said the party was "disappointed and furious" at Zass's decision "connive with the ANC".

"This motion [to remove the mayor and deputy mayor] was brought forward by the ANC and supported by Zass even after the municipal manager advised that a motion would be unlawful, as it was not done with prior notice," Botha said.

According to her, the DA councillors took the decision not to participate in "this illegal practice" and left the council chambers, whereafter Zass together with the ANC proceeded with the motion.

"It has become a trend for the ANC in the province to overthrow legally constituted councils through illegal methods. The DA will not participate in these unlawful proceedings and will be seeking legal advice on the matter," she said.

"The DA will not allow the ANC to take over DA-led municipalities in the Western Cape in their effort to destroy the work done by our governments. This is a strategy by the ANC and an attack on good governance, and we will not stand for it. We will be meeting with the DA caucus about what transpired today and fight this matter through legal channels."

Zass, who said he was "very proud of the collapse of the DA council", left the ANC for the DA two years ago. He on Wednesday ceremoniously signed his resignation letter form the DA before filling in his ANC membership paperwork.

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Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  western cape  |  politics
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