THE ANC has issued recently elected mayor and deputy mayor of the embattled Kannaland municipality with notices of suspension for entering into an ‘unsanctioned’ coalition.
Nicolaas Valentyn and Leonie Stuurman were sworn into the leadership positions less than a week ago after a vote of no confidence motion passed against Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa’s (ICOSA) convicted rapist Jeffery Donson and fraudster Werner Meshoa.
Donson and Meshoa’s election drew large criticism after ICOSA won majority seats in Kannaland during November’s local government elections. Two months later, they were booted out after it emerged that Donson had been convicted for rape. The ANC also withdrew from their coalition with ICOSA following public outcry over their political marriage which saw Valentyn serving as deputy mayor.
The motion of no confidence was brought to council by Rodge Albertus of the Kannaland Independent Party (KIP) who said the negative publicity impacted Donson's ability to service the community as a public representative.
Albertus was voted in as speaker following the motion while the DA’s Lets Steenkamp was selected as the municipality’s representative to the Garden Route District.
The ANC’s Sifiso Mtsweni said Valentyn and Stuurman would appear before a disciplinary committee that was expected to wrap up its work within two weeks.
“The ANC is taking disciplinary action against two councillors. The party never issued a directive (to its councillors) to enter into a coalition, that is the competency of the national structure. The directive was to for members to stay in coalition, instead the two members entered into some form of coalition with the KIP and the DA to some extent.”
Mtsweni said a disciplinary committee had already been established and is expected to wrap up its work within 14.
Speaking to Weekend Argus, Valentyn said he planned to challenge the suspension as the party failed to issue clear directives on what staying in the opposition meant.
“They sent a letter on Monday, but I plan to appeal with it (on Friday). The (leadership) told us to move out of the coalition with ICOSA and go into opposition but they did not tell me what to do in opposition.
“Outside of ICOSA, there is only KIP and the DA so I did not understand what they meant by going into opposition. Now they are suspending me.”
Attempts to reach Stuurman for comment were unsuccessful.