DA takes aim at coalition-led Knysna municipality over political appointments

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DA supporters pictured.
DA supporters pictured.
OJ Koloti/Gallo Images via Getty Images
  • The DA took aim at the coalition-led Knysna municipality after several political appointments were made.
  • The party threatened to approach the court for immediate relief.
  • The mayor of Knysna said the positions were yet to be filled and would be subject to normal procedures.

A court battle could be looming between the coalition-led Knysna Municipality and the DA, after the latter accused the administration of abusing ratepayers' money. 

The head of the DA's Knysna constituency, Dion George, said the coalition's first priority was to "deploy their political cronies to the council with generous pay packets funded by Knysna ratepayers".

"Six political appointments have been made, without any due process, at an unbudgeted cost of R3 million per annum. Neither the council's recruitment process nor the selection process was followed," he said. 

George said the "coalition of corruption" did not even try to hide the nepotism and cronyism, which they expect the hardworking citizens of Knysna to fund.

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"This is merely the beginning. The next step will be to infect every department in the Knysna administration by capturing tender processes and diverting resources for their own personal and political gain," he said.

George said they would approach the courts for immediate relief. 

"This is what happens when voters choose a small party promising to keep the ANC out of power – they get an ANC government that will steal everything that can possibly be stolen. In its first month in government, the Coalition of Corruption has dragged Knysna closer and closer to the edge of its financial viability," he said, adding:

This additional R3 million salary bill will place Knysna in deficit and onto the slippery slope to bankruptcy.

In August, the DA in the Knysna municipality was booted out of power after several motions of no confidence in the mayor, deputy mayor, speaker and chief whip during a special council meeting. 

The municipality has, however, defended its appointments. 

The mayor of Knysna, Aubrey Tsengwa, said the positions had yet to be filled and would be subject to normal procedures.

"The proper recruitment processes, in line with the guidelines set out in the staff regulations, will be followed to ensure that the most suitable candidates are appointed to these positions," he said.

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Tsengwa said they were committed to improving the lives of all residents in the greater Knysna area.

"We made a commitment to improve service delivery and development, and will keep that promise. In my acceptance speech, I said that my immediate priority would be to bring stability to the administration," he said. 

The leader of the Western Cape ANC, Cameron Dugmore, said the municipality was entitled to employ support staff in the offices of the mayor, deputy mayor and speaker.

"These posts need to be advertised and then filled. Our understanding is that current support staff have been appointed on contract, pending the formal recruitment process.

"As the ANC Governance Committee, we will prepare a report for the interim provincial committee and engage our Knysna ANC caucus before the posts are advertised. We need to be sure that all posts will add value and are graded at the right level," he said. 

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