Cape Town – The battle over the speaker’s chair on the Beaufort West council continues, after the ANC and its coalition partner, the Karoo Development Front (KDF), on Wednesday passed a motion of no confidence in speaker Derrick Welgemoed (DA), replacing him with Latitia Deyce (ANC).
Welgemoed was elected speaker in mid-February after disagreements between the ANC and KDF caused the previous ANC speaker to resign.
Following Wednesday’s change in speaker, ANC Central Karoo regional secretary Winde Plaatjie said the vote was a direct result of the recent by-election in the municipality in which the ANC retained its seat on the council.
“The voters showed their confidence in us at the polls, and we had to respond. As the ANC/KDF we will always put the decorum of the municipality council first by lobbying for a united council in order to deliver bulk services to our community,” said Plaatjie.
Other changes made at the meeting included the appointment of the ANC Youth League’s provincial organiser, Zukile Lambert, as a Mayco member and the filling the two vacant senior posts of director for infrastructure and engineering, and a CFO. The two new appointees will start on Monday.
Yesterday, the DA’s East region chairperson Tertuis Simmers called the council meeting at which Welgemoed was replaced “illegal”.
Simmers said the notice for the council meeting, which ended up being chaired by the municipal manager, did not comply with the requirements specified in the council’s rules of order.
“The conduct of the ANC/KDF coalition is a clear display of their absolute contempt for the council’s rules of conduct, and shows complete disregard for the basic principles of democracy as enshrined in our Constitution.
“The DA in Beaufort West will obtain a cost order against every illegal decision made by the municipal manager and hold him personally responsible.”
The spotlight now shifts to Local Government MEC Anton Bredell, whom Simmers has urged to address the matter immediately.