Cape Town - Nine months after being unseated as mayor, Truman Prince has set his sights on Beaufort West’s top job again.
The flamboyant Prince lost the mayoral seat during the 2016 local government elections after the ANC lost votes to the DA, who later formed a coalition with the Karoo Defence Force (KDF) to take the reins of the municipality.
As Beaufort West prepares itself for a by-election on Wednesday, Prince has expressed his willingness to serve at the helm again. “I am ready to serve the people of Beaufort West again.”
But that’s if the ANC wins Ward 7, which would then pave the way for it to elect a mayor from two candidates, and Prince has already expressed his willingness to take the helm.
Beaufort West is the biggest municipality in the Central Karoo District.Prince’s career has been dogged by controversies.
He describes himself as a “conglomeration of all races, a true epitome of the rainbow nation” and says he has been through all “phases” of politics.
Prince admits that some people like him, and others don’t but says “I am who I am”.
Throughout his career Prince has courted controversy, and has faced charges from drunk-driving to corruption.
In 2005, the ANC suspended him as a member and municipal manager in the Beaufort West municipality on allegations of misconduct in a council meeting. In the same year, the SABC’s investigative show, Special Assignment aired an exposé appearing to show Prince’s involvement in soliciting teenage sex. He was subsequently charged for assaulting the journalists.
Other charges includes the alleged use of R3000 from the mayoral fund to pay for the bail of his friend who was later sentenced to life imprisonment for armed robbery.
Prince was removed from his position as ANC manager and then reinstated in 2007. He was however, expelled from the ANC and started a political party named Icosa – the Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa.
He later returned to the ANC. Other charges he has faced included assaulting a female traffic officer who allegedly pulled him over for speeding. He denied having done so.
The ANC fined him R10000 and also ordered him to write a letter of apology for bringing the party into disrepute after he allegedly asked that a tender be given to a construction company “sympathetic” to the ANC.
Prince was also accused of using government resources in lobbying funds for the ANC from businesses.