ANC bigwigs unhappy with small town's harmony
ANC branch secretary appeals to Jesse Duarte to intervene in the Kannaland municipality coalition saga
An ANC branch secretary in a small town in the Western Cape has appealed to Luthuli House to intervene in Kannaland municipality where their mayor is happily working with the DA in the only such coalition in the country.
Both the ANC and the DA in the Karoo town of Kannaland went rogue after the 2016 local government elections, forming a coalition without the permission of their mother bodies.
Now Eugene Ludicks, a branch secretary of the ANC in Kannaland, has appealed to ANC deputy secretary general Jesse Duarte, asking her to intervene in the saga that has despite repeated attempts not been resolved.Ludicks said the ANC Western Cape provincial executive committee (PEC) had instructed ANC mayor Magdalene Barry and her deputy, Phillips Antonie, in May to quit – but nothing of the sort is happening.
“We respectfully ask [Duarte to] request written reasons from the PEC Western Cape as to the reasons why no implementation is taking place, [regarding] the decision taken by the PEC,” Ludicks said in a letter addressed to Duarte.
ANC Western Cape provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs said the party expected the pair to resign.
“We have communicated that decision to the affected councillors [and] they have agreed that there will be a process; a timeframe for them to get out of that coalition,” said Jacobs.
He said the ANC had sent a team to Kannaland to “manage the exit”.
But Barry and Antonie are staying put, saying they know nothing of this request to quit.“I don’t know anything about that,” Barry, the mayor, said on Friday.
Antonie, the deputy mayor, lashed out at Ludicks, the ANC branch secretary, for writing to Duarte.
“That guy who wrote that letter, he is out of line. I don’t think it’s necessary to answer to that because it is not for the PEC to decide we have to resign because it is the people on the ground who voted for us,” he said.
Antonie also claimed that Jacobs wrote the letter asking them to step down without a mandate from the PEC.
“We went to Cape Town to meet the PEC and they know nothing about that, so end of story.”
ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In 2016, the ANC won 21.51% of the vote in Kannaland, the DA 27.52% and Icosa (Independent Civic Organisation of SA) 48.14%, according to a BusinessLive report.
Local newspaper Die Hoorn reported last year that Kannaland ANC councillors did not want to form a coalition with Icosa, despite that being the wish of the provincial ANC.
EWN reported last year that, although the DA initially wanted to discipline its Kannaland members, it had since decided it would allow its councillors to side with the ANC.
This after a forensic report accused the previous mayor, Jeffrey Donson, of Icosa, of fraud and corruption.
DA local government spokesperson Masizole Mnqasela told EWN a year ago: “We will sort of tolerate it in favour of good governance, in favour of fighting corruption because corruption is the biggest enemy to growth.”
But Donson said: “When we go to an election, people vote for Icosa because they believe us, because we bring the information to them.”
In 2008, Donson was convicted of one count of indecent assault and seven of statutory rape, after he had an affair with a 15-year-old girl while he was Kannaland mayor.