DA's George mayor Naik refuses to step down, given ultimatum
News / 12 February 2020, 06:45am / Siyavuya Mzantsi
Cape Town – DA George mayor Melvin Naik has refused his party’s call for him to step down, saying the DA’s decision was premeditated and biased.
The party has given him until today to resign and said should he refuse, his party membership would cease and he would no longer be a municipal councillor in George.
But Naik said no consideration was given to the application of the rules of “natural justice” before making the decision. “I was asked to give reasons why I should not resign.
“These reasons were submitted last Friday. Yesterday (Monday) we received a notice of the federal executive’s request for me to resign within 48 hours.
“I am not going to resign as the DA requested me to.
“If the DA believes in what they advocate - freedom and fairness, two of the party’s values - they would let the process run its course,” he said.
He said his legal team had written to the DA, telling the party to stop “this unconstitutional process” and that he would approach the courts for the necessary relief.
The DA’s decision follows its George caucus passing a motion of no confidence in Naik.
The party said Naik was fingered in a forensic investigation into allegations of fraud, corruption, maladministration and serious malpractice within the George Municipality.
The investigation was conducted at the instruction of Local Government MEC Anton Bredell and made two serious findings against Naik relating to alleged corruption and interference in administrative processes.
Bredell is also the chairperson of the DA in the province.
Naik has denied all the allegations against him, and said they had not been proven in court.
“The report in question has been served before council and has been referred to the disciplinary board. We await the outcome.
“To date, no charge has been laid by the National Prosecuting Authority against the municipality or any individual.
“I’m innocent and not guilty of any wrongdoing; therefore I will not resign as mayor.
“No one is mentioning that it was me who said ‘no, we cannot allow the contractor to work without proper due SCM processes being followed’,” he said.
DA George constituency head Geordin Hill-Lewis said the party called on all parties in the George Council to support its efforts to root out corruption in George.
“Corruption is the cancer that is destroying South Africa, mainly because despite many commitments to fight corruption, there is no culture of accountability.
“No senior politicians found to be involved in corruption are ever held accountable,” he said.
He said the DA had taken this “difficult action” to reinforce its commitment to provide the cleanest governance in South Africa.