DA forges ahead with court action against Knysna Municipality over 'illegal' political appointments

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The DA's Dion George.
The DA's Dion George.
PHOTO: OJ Koloti, Gallo Images
  • At a council meeting in Knysna, the resignation of acting municipal manager Johannes Jonkers is expected to be discussed.
  • Jonkers resigned on Monday with immediate effect. 
  • He resigned after the DA served the municipality with court papers to challenge several political appointments.

The troubled Knysna Municipality will hold a council meeting on Thursday to discuss the sudden resignation of its acting municipal manager on Monday.

Johannes Jonkers resigned after the DA made good on its promise to challenge allegedly illegal political appointments.

Knysna Municipality communications officer Nwabisa Pondoyi confirmed the resignation.

"Unfortunately, the acting municipal manager, Mr Johannes Jonkers, submitted his resignation to the executive mayor later in the afternoon on Monday. He did not cite any reasons for this resignation except that it was with immediate effect," she said.

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

Pondoyi added that matters involving litigation were dealt with under delegated authority.

"In the absence of an acting municipal manager, we cannot at this point respond to what actions the council will take. An ordinary meeting of the council is scheduled for Thursday, whereafter more information may become available," Pondoyi said.

In August, the DA was booted out of power in the municipality after several motions of no confidence in the mayor, deputy mayor, speaker and chief whip during a special council meeting. Knysna is now controlled by the ANC, PA, EFF and Plaaslike Besorgde Inwoners (PBI).

On Monday, the DA served court papers on the municipality and the seven people it described as "illegally appointed political cadres".

The DA's Knysna constituency head, Dion George, said in a statement that the appointments were created without consideration for whether they were required or affordable, rendering the process unlawful.

He said:

When the cadres were employed, no due process was followed. No advertisements for the 'vacancies' were published, and no shortlisting of multiple candidates occurred. The coalition of corruption didn't even try to hide the blatant nepotism in employing their cronies.

According to court papers, the DA wants the Western Cape High Court to declare the appointments of seven political appointments "inconsistent with the Constitution and invalid".  

The DA also wants the appointments to be set aside and for the court to hold the municipality liable for the irregular or fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

The DA's Knysna councillor, Julie Lopes, said in court documents that the posts were unconstitutionally created and filled. 

"Council created the posts without the necessary consultations and without consideration for whether the posts were necessary or affordable. These posts were promptly filled without advertising the vacancies and following recruitment legal processes," Lopes said.




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