The DA says it is concerned for the safety of a councillor who it says blew the whistle on attempts by the ANC’s top provincial leaders to bribe him so he would resign, forcing a by-election.
On Tuesday DA provincial leader Theuns Botha said the party would organise security for Worcester councillor Thobile Dyonta, one of 11 DA councillors said to have been “targeted” by the ANC in a “plot dubbed Project Reclaim”.
The DA on Tuesday said it would write to the speakers of all the municipalities involved to investigate and discipline ANC councillors implicated.
If no action was taken, Local Government MEC Anton Bredell would get involved.
But ANC provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile rejected the claims, saying the party had no money to bribe DA councillors, wouldn’t involve itself in illegal activities and had been open about its plans to reclaim power in the Western Cape.
Mjongile acknowledged that he had met Dyonta, who left the ANC to join the DA.
“I’ve known Thobile (Dyonta) for 20 years because he was a former leader of Cosas (in the Western Cape),” said Mjongile.
“I was approached by Thobile. He was disappointed because he didn’t get a position on the (Breede River Valley Municipality’s) mayoral committee.”
He said there was nothing “conspiratorial”. According to Dyonta’s affidavit, he attended another meeting with ANC Boland chairman and Breede Valley councillor Pat Maraan.
In October, he met ANC provincial chairman Marius Fransman, Mjongile and provincial treasurer Fezile Calana, where another offer was made. “I told them they only made promises.”
But Mjongile said even if the ANC managed to lure back Dyonta, it would need three councillors to form the majority in Breede Valley.
DA federal chairman James Selfe fingered Fransman as the architect of the plan, dubbing him “the CEO of the ANC’s Dirty Tricks Department”.
The DA said on Tuesday a decision by the DA’s Koos Brandt in Graafwater (Cederberg), to resign in September to join the ANC also had to be probed. Earlier the ANC won control when former DA ward councillor William Abels resigned and stood for the ANC in the subsequent by-election, which he won.
In Bitou (Plettenberg Bay), which was controlled by the ANC until May’s local government elections, the DA alleged Nevelle de Waal had been approached six times. The DA controls the council with the support of a single councillor from Cope.
Botha also alleged that Dirk Adams, a DA councillor in Berg River (Piketberg), had been “approached” to join the ANC for a “higher position” and construction tenders.
In Saldanha Municipality the ANC was accused of targeting Olwen Daniels, Elize Steyn, Sucilla van Tura and Ryan Don. The DA alleges the approach was made by ANC West Coast chairman Jeff Swartz. But Swartz said he had been approached by the DA councillors, claiming they were badly treated.
“They asked me if we (ANC) could organise funding for the Industrial Development Zone from national government, but I told them government would not give funding to the DA-controlled municipality because they were not doing anything for our people,” said Swarts. - Cape Times