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Embattled Oudtshoorn elects new deputy mayor, speaker

Re-elected speaker Colan Sylvester, mayor Chad Louw, newly-elected deputy mayor Leon Campher.

Re-elected speaker Colan Sylvester, mayor Chad Louw, newly-elected deputy mayor Leon Campher.

Published May 12, 2022

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CAPE TOWN - Following weeks of political turmoil, the Greater Oudtshoorn Municipality has welcomed a new leadership tipped to tackle service delivery issues within the town.

Councillor Leon Campher, of the Dysselsdorp Advice Office, was elected as the deputy mayor while former Oudtshoorn mayor Colan Sylvester of the Oudtshoorn Gemeenskaps Inisiatief (OGI) was re-elected as the speaker of the municipality through a secret ballot.

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Campher’s appointment comes after the removal of the previous deputy mayor, Vlancio Donson, through a motion of no confidence recently.

Sylvester was re-elected after after councillor Sonia Bentley suddenly resigned from her position, and his party had withdrawn from the coalition in December, claiming that it was being “abused” by certain partners to carry out their own decisions.

Newly elected Campher is claimed to have appointed his daughter, who was an intern in the municipality, as his personal assistant.

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He did not respond to questions by deadline yesterday.

Oudtshoorn mayor Chad Louw said he would look into the claims.

“There have been claims about that. But I am out of office and I will be back on Friday, then we will see as a municipality what our approach will be,” he said.

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Louw said they were now working on restoring “political stability” within the caucus.

Former mayor, DA’s Chris Macpherson welcomed the new leadership, adding that the focus should be on service delivery.

“As leader of the opposition, I congratulated him and said that this is the first time in the history of Oudtshoorn that both the executive mayor and his deputy are from Dysselsdorp, which represents two of the 25 wards, and expressed my concern that the focus should be on the greater Oudtshoorn. Service delivery has deteriorated over the last few months and that should be our focus,” he said.

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Donson, who was ousted from power recently, said he was now an ordinary councillor and was focusing on his personal interests.

He, however, raised concern about the current coalition leading the town.

“Their coalition is not stable, everyone is fighting everyone. We are just making the seats warm for the next one.”

Cape Times

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