Cape Town – Witzenberg Municipality Speaker Johnnerey Mouton was removed from her position at a council meeting in Ceres on Tuesday.
The DA, in collaboration with “frustrated” coalition partners, said it took over the position.
DA constituency head in Witzenberg Wendy Kaizer-Philander said the decision was made in the interest of the community. The DA’s Elizabeth “Bettie” Sidego was appointed in the position.
“Since the election and since the former speaker was appointed, it is very clear that a political agenda was being pursued, rather than having a community-oriented approach in the council. The former speaker has repeatedly proved that she represents the ANC's interests above the interests of the Witzenberg community.
“One telling example is when she was made aware of an item on the agenda that would secure foreign investment in the Wolseley area which would create many jobs for Witzenberg residents.
“This item, and similar critical items, were repeatedly referred back by the previous speaker, proving her incompetence. Our coalition partners experienced the same frustration and decided today to join us in the interest of Witzenberg and its residents,” she said.
Kaizer-Philander said of the new speaker: “Her many years of experience and love for Witzenberg and its people will ensure that important decisions can now be implemented through the council for the benefit of all communities in Witzenberg.”
ANC opposition leader in the province Cameron Dugmore said they would now sit in the opposition benches.
“I have asked for a full report as to what transpired in the meeting. There are serious allegations against the DA mayor as well as some councillors who are part of the DA coalition. We are also aware that the Hawks are investigating corruption within the municipality.
“For now our former speaker councillor Johnnerey Mouton will take her place as an ordinary councillor. We will intensify our role as the opposition and expose the corruption and nepotism among the DA in Witzenberg.”