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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town says one of its employees, who was reportedly photographed at an EFF rally over the weekend, is not a political appointee and can therefore be a member of any party he chooses.
Pictures of a man believed to be Steven Otter, who has served as a spokesman for the Independent Democrats, and later for Transport MEC Robin Carlisle in the Western Cape government, have been doing the rounds on social media.
The Cape Argus also snapped the EFF member at the event.
Otter, who now works for the City of Cape Town as a support officer in the Transport for Cape Town directorate, has in media reports denied that he was at the rally. He said he was in Betty’s Bay for the weekend with his family.
De Lille offered a similar response in media reports.
Otter was De Lille’s spokesman when she was leader of the Independent Democrats and she was the first person he called when he was arrested last year for allegedly insulting a police officer.
Otter said he could not respond to questions because he was about to go into a meeting.
Melissa Whitehead, the commissioner of transport for Cape Town, said Otter had been seconded last year to the city by the provincial government. His contract with the province was due to end in May.
Whitehead said Otter was involved in transport issues, and he was not involved in anything political.
Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for Transport for Cape Town, said that as it was every citizen’s constitutional right to belong to a political party, it would not be necessary for the city to comment on Otter’s political membership.
“Regardless of whether he is or isn’t (a member of the EFF), employees in the city are not prohibited from joining political parties.”
Questions around Otter’s choice of attire have risen in the past.
In 2012 he claimed that he was demoted from his position as the media liaison for the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works because of the way he dressed and his vegetarian diet.