DA councillors to be expelled

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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town has agreed that two DA ward councillors found guilty of misconduct should be expelled from the council.

Michael Toko was found guilty by the city’s disciplinary committee of abusing his position as a councillor to give a family permission to occupy provincial land, while Junade Hoosain was guilty of calling a member of a VIP security unit “a darkie”.

Toko used an official council letterhead to give the family permission to move on to the land and erect a structure, despite having no authority to do so.

Although Toko was found guilty in September, the councillor appealed to the committee to consider new information relating to the charges against him.

Disciplinary committee chairwoman Anthea Serritslev said what Toko submitted was not considered to be new evidence and it was decided that the initial recommendation to have him expelled should stand.

Toko has also appeared in court for allegedly defrauding the social grant system. He is said to have applied for a grant at the SA Social Security Agency, where he lied about being unemployed. As a councillor Toko earns about R400 000 a year. He has already claimed about R30 000 in social grant aid.

Referring to Hoosain Serritslev said offensive and racist comments were unacceptable, and not befitting a councillor and community leader.

The final decision on the expulsion of the two councillors is now referred to Local Government MEC Anton Bredell.

ANC chief whip Xolani Sotashe supported the recommendation. “We must stand together and root out racism.” But he said the allegations pointed to the arrogance of councillors within the DA. “They think they have absolute power and they misuse that power to deal with the public.”

Sotashe said the delay in Toko’s case was an attempt by the DA to cover it up. “If you are going to brand the ANC as corrupt, you must look at yourself first.”

He said the DA’s councillors were simply following the example set by DA leader Premier Helen Zille who had previously referred to people coming into the province from elsewhere in the country as “refugees”. Hoosain’s behaviour was evil and racist, he said.

But mayor Patricia de Lille lashed back at him, saying: “If Sotashe looks in the mirror he will see what is evil and racist in the ANC.” She added: “I was sitting here smelling something, and I see that (Loyiso) Nkohla is in this house. Why has the ANC not acted against him?”

Nkohla faces disciplinary action from the ANC for his involvement in the poo protests and last month’s housing protest that erupted into violence and looting in the city centre.

Meanwhile, Speaker Dirk Smit absolved De Lille of wrongdoing for releasing a media statement on the city’s settlement on professional fees for the Cape Town Stadium when the item was dealt with in council as a confidential item.

Smit said De Lille’s statement dealt only with the agreement, and did not go into detail about the funding. “The mayor did not breach council rules or the code of conduct.”

anel.lewis@inl.co.za

Cape Argus


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