Grant Twigg File photo: African News Agency (ANA)
Grant Twigg File photo: African News Agency (ANA)

DA's Cape metro chairperson faces axe over 'divisions, factionalised agenda'

By Dominic Adriaanse Time of article published Oct 1, 2019

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Cape Town – DA metro chairperson Grant Twigg faces the axe when his caucus prepares to table a motion of no confidence against him at the party’s council meeting this weekend.

In their submission - leaked to Cape Times - DA councillor Rose Rau and Mayco member for transport Felicity Purchase accused Twigg of dividing the region and its structures, as well as the caucus of the City.

Rau and Purchase stated they had “serious concerns” about Twigg and that the regional council was left with no option but to resolve: “That, in the interests of the DA in Cape Town and the future of South Africa, the chairperson of the metro region stands down from his position. 

"That if the chairperson fails to stand down, the regional council immediately proceeds with a vote of no confidence in the chairperson of the metro region.”

They stated that the party had come out of a “very difficult” national election campaign, delivering its poorest performance in the metro to date.

Rau and Purchase said they must secure the City as a cornerstone of the DA’s “Safe South Africa” campaign and it was critical that Twigg provided political and organisational leadership to the structures, as well as operational leadership to the staff.

They have also charged Twigg with driving a factionalised agenda in his effort to secure re-election.

“The metro chairperson is failing to provide effective leadership to the region due to the style of chairing meetings which reflects a lack of sincerity with respect to the issues expressed by member - reflected, for instance, in his obstinacy in hearing the issues around the allocation of PR councillors to wards and failing to follow due process as required by the Constitution,” read the submission. 

The metro council meeting is scheduled for Saturday.

Twigg could not be reached for comment, while Rau and Purchase declined to comment when approached yesterday.

DA spokesperson Odette Cason said: “I can confirm that this is the motion that has been submitted. The DA firmly believes in democracy and the processes that go along with it. 

"A crucial part of this is the opportunity for people to elect or remove their leaders through due processes. It is democracy in action. The motion tabled is an internal party matter and will be dealt with through the party’s procedures.”

Twigg was elected to the position in 2017 after beating former party member Shaun August, who has since resigned from the DA and now serves as a GOOD party MP. At the time, Twigg said that the agenda for metro meetings would change, and they would now have “political discussions”.

Twigg had formerly been the DA’s caucus chairperson in the City, but was demoted by former mayor Patricia de Lille in favour of August, who also became the party’s leader in the metro when his predecessor, Grant Pascoe, defected to the ANC in 2014.

In early 2018, Twigg proposed a motion of no confidence in De Lille which was squashed by the DA’s federal executive.

Twigg had said De Lille lost the confidence of the metro executive, with speculation rife that she would be axed following two investigations into corruption.

He had previously responded that a motion was submitted by two members and that there was nothing wrong for people to apply any procedural DA processes.

Former DA member Siyabulela Mamkeli, who resigned from the DA last year citing, among others, racism within the party, said that Twigg was but the latest leader of colour being targeted.

“Remember, he was never their choice and now he is experiencing the same onslaught he helped set in motion against Patricia.

"This white cabal will attempt to remove you, skip due process and even fabricate things.

"They will exploit that Grant for an experienced councillor has been found wanting in a position of leadership,” he said.

Mamkeli added that dissatisfaction with Twigg’s leadership has been growing at ground level as much as it had at the top structures.

He said the problem the DA would face if Twigg was removed was his replacement, as it could neither alienate its white nor its coloured voter base.

However, the party needed to penetrate the black voter bases, where it was not making inroads.

Cape Times

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