Kannaland power struggle: Bredell called in after council recommends 3 Icosa councillors be removed

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ICOSA councillor Hyrin Ruiters congratulates Jeffrey Donson with his election as Kannaland mayor, with his deputy, Werner Meshoa also in attendance.
ICOSA councillor Hyrin Ruiters congratulates Jeffrey Donson with his election as Kannaland mayor, with his deputy, Werner Meshoa also in attendance.
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  • Western Cape Local Government MEC Anton Bredell has been roped in to consider the removal of three Icosa councillors. 
  • Convicted child rapist Jeffrey Donson along with Werner Meshoa and Hyrin Ruiters were removed from the Kannaland municipality council. 
  • Donson is the former mayor of Kannaland and was ousted in January in a motion of no confidence.

An "untenable situation" within the Kannaland municipality has prompted the intervention of Local Government MEC Anton Bredell. This, after three councillors from the Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa (Icosa) were removed from their positions after the speaker launched a probe into their conduct.

Convicted child rapist Jeffrey Donson along with Werner Meshoa and Hyrin Ruiters, were the subject of a special council meeting last month where it discussed whether to remove them as councillors.

The outcome - to remove them - was communicated to Bredell for a final decision.

Donson is the former mayor of Kannaland and was ousted in January in a motion of no confidence.

The motion was tabled after Donson and his deputy refused to step down, after it emerged they had criminal convictions. The ANC's Nicolaas Valentyn took over as mayor after the motion against Donson succeeded.

But according to Bredell's spokesperson Wouter Kriel, the MEC is still assessing Kannaland Municipality's request to remove the three. 

READ | Kannaland power struggle: Municipality leaderless as it opts to postpone election of mayor, deputy

Valentyn said they are awaiting Bredell's decision. 

"If the MEC does the right thing and removes the councillors, Kannaland will be saved, and it will benefit all the poor people," he said. 

Valentyn said the situation in the council has become untenable. 

Speaker Rodge Albertus had drafted a lengthy report, stating that he found Donson, Meshoa and Ruiters guilty of several allegations, including wasteful expenditure and bringing the municipality into disrepute. He recommended they should be removed.

The ANC's Cameron Dugmore said: "The speaker has found the Icosa councillors guilty of serious misconduct after a very thorough investigation. Council has recommended that they be removed as councillors in terms of the code of conduct. That recommendation has now been sent to MEC Bredell. Bredell must now act in the interests of good governance and of the entire Kannaland community." 

Donson told News24 that Icosa was willing to accept that the situation had become volatile.

"He [Bredell] must act against the coalition and stop the current council's illegality. There was no disciplinary process. Let them give us signed answers. It's worse than a boendoehof (kangaroo court)," he said.  

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