Picture: Phill Magakoe/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town - Acting Knysna mayor Aubrey Tsengwa has selected an all but one ANC mayoral committee (mayco) to lead the municipality after the previous leadership was dissolved following the firing of former mayor Mark Willemse as DA member. 

Tsengwa, who was Willemse’s deputy took over from him after the DA stripped him of his party membership on September 30. This followed the outcome of a vote of no confidence in him by his own caucus.

Tsengwa’s mayco is made of fellow ANC councillors Claudine Croutz, the mayco member governance and economic development and finance committees; Thando Matika, for integrated human settlements and technical services committees; and Mncedisi Skosana, for the planning and development committee.

Independent party Knysna Unity Congress councillor Monwabisi Salaze, who served under Willemse as community services committee mayco member, continues in this role.

Tsengwa said on Wednesday that his Mayco was stepping in temporarily to bring stability.

“While the matter of councillor Willemse is before court, we await the outcome. The members selected have been placed to restore stability and ensure the citizens of Knysna receive service delivery as they are not to blame for the situation this council faces,” he said. Tsengwa said talks of the ANC taking over the Knysna council permanently were premature as Willemse’s case was not yet resolved.

Willemse was granted an interdict by the Western Cape High Court, restraining Knysna municipal manager Dr Sitembele Vatala, Local Government MEC Anton Bredell and the Electoral Commission of SA’s chief electoral officer from calling and setting a date for a by-election.

He and fellow DA councillor Peter Myers had been in the DA’s firing line since Willemse’s appointment as mayor. Knysna DA constituency head Dion George said: “If the ANC takes control of the town it is a direct consequence of the actions of former councillor Willemse and councillor Myers. This is Willemse’s legacy and we will fix it.”

Willemse in response said: “I have always been loyal to the DA and have maintained my strong stance on the policies and principles of the party, but to blame Peter Myers and myself for this is absolutely scandalous.

“The DA refused to nominate a candidate for deputy mayor and even cut myself and Peter Myers out of caucus decisions in the run-up to the national elections,” he said. After George worked his “magic”, he managed to get rid of all the DA people, have them replaced with ANC people and single-handedly destroyed the DA in Knysna, said Myers.

Cape Times