KANNALAND municipality’s embattled mayor Nicolaas Valentyn and his deputy Leoni Stuurman have been reinstated following protracted legal challenges.
The Western Cape High Court granted them leave to appeal their suspension from the ANC.
In a letter to the municipality this week, the Electoral Commission of South Africa confirmed that it would scrap the councillor vacancies that were declared, pending the outcome of the leave to appeal application.
“Therefore, as the order and judgments currently stands, Mr Valentyn and Mr Stuurman are deemed to be the current councillors representing the ANC in the municipal council,” read the letter.
Municipal manager, Ian Avontuur confirmed that both were appointed back into the positions they previously held in January.
This then means Anthony Ewerts and Bradley Benades of the ANC, who were only sworn in two weeks ago to replace Valentyn and Stuurman during a special council meeting, will have to vacate their seats.
Valentyn and Stuurman were ousted from the party for allegedly entering into agreements with other parties “without a mandate from the ANC”.
This related to them ascending to leadership positions in January after a motion of no confidence was passed against Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa’s (Icosa) convicted rapist Jeffery Donson, and Werner Meshoa, convicted fraudster.
“I can confirm that I was reinstated as mayor,” Valentyn told Weekend Argus, adding that he was relieved the ordeal was over.
“This is a big relief because our people in Kannaland are suffering,” he said.
Valentyn said he would make it his mission to ensure service delivery took place unhindered. “The service delivery will continue in the whole Kannaland.”
He said Kannaland needed stability.
“The people were confused because of the uncertainty, but I’m back to give the people what they’re looking for,” he said.
Stuurman didn’t have much to say when approached for comment.
“Yes, I’m the deputy mayor again,” she said.
The municipality has been in limbo over the past few months following Valentyn and Stuurman’s suspension as calls were made for the a motion of no confidence to be held against speaker Rodge Albertus who represents the Kannaland Independent Party after Donson accused him of maladministration.
Donson has reiterated his position as leader of his party and councillor.
“I’m going nowhere, I’m still a councillor,” he told Weekend Argus.
Weekend Argus last week reported that Donson was slapped with fresh allegations of sexual harassment after a recording of a conversation allegedly between Donson and a woman was leaked.
Donson laid charges of crimen injuria against a former staffer for “leaking the evidence” in a public meeting.
In the recording, the voice, purportedly that of Donson, can be heard promising the woman, whose name is being withheld due to legal advice, assistance. But as the conversation proceeds he allegedly offers her R40 for taxi fare and a job in exchange for sexual favours. He even went so far as to lean in for a kiss.
He was convicted of raping a 15-year-old girl in 2008 and he went to the Western Cape High Court to appeal the matter and was given a suspended sentence.
Valentyn said he had “huge plans” to turn the corrupt Kannaland around.
“I’m in discussion with the Western Cape and national government to bring big projects to our municipality,” he said.
He said some of these projects includes free internet access.
“We’ll install free Wi-Fi access to our residents to give them free access to the internet,” Valentyn said.
No comment was received from the ANC.