ANC and DA squabble over Kannaland City Manager post

ANC provincial leader Cameron Dugmore. Photo: Malherbe Nienaber

  • The Western Cape ANC has accused DA provincial leader Tertuis Simmers of political interference.
  • The ANC says Simmers is trying to replace the current Kannaland Municipality City Manager with a former George civil servant who was removed from office for poor administration.
  • Simmers denied the allegations.

The Western Cape ANC has accused DA Provincial Leader Tertuis Simmers of interfering in the administration of Kannaland Municipality by allegedly trying to influence the appointment of a municipal manager.

ANC provincial leader Cameron Dugmore claimed Simmers was politically interfering in the appointment of an interim city manager.

‘It has come to our attention that the provincial DA leader is unlawfully attempting to force the council to remove the current acting city manager, Ian Avontuur, and replace him with George’s discredited former civil servant, Keith Jordaan’ , did he declare.

Jordaan, the former financial director of George Municipality, was fired for mismanagement and investing almost R300 million with Old Mutual.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane found improper conduct and maladministration against the municipality in connection with the investment.

BON party leader Patricia de Lille filed a complaint with the Public Protector’s Office in 2019 – alleging corruption in the municipality.

Officials are said to have been aware of an irregular investment of public funds to the tune of R350 million with Old Mutual.

Dugmore said Simmer’s interference was a “glaring example of DA executive deployment.”

READ | Western Cape government intervenes in the leaderless municipality of Kannaland

“Not only is it illegal, but it undermines good governance,” he added.

Ahead of local elections in 2021, the DA and ANC reached a working agreement to keep Icosa out of power on the seven-member council. The municipality had an ANC mayor, an ANC deputy mayor and a DA president.

After the election, Icosa emerged with three struggling city council seats, while the ANC and DA had two seats each, while the Kannaland Independent Party had one.

The municipality was leaderless after a motion of no confidence in Mayor Jeffrey Donson, a convicted child rapist, and his deputy, Werner Meshoa, a convicted fraudster.

Simmers described Dugmore’s allegations as baseless.

He said:

Good governance is absent in Kannaland. An interim City Manager must have the qualifications, experience and attitude to reverse what the ANC has achieved, as the ANC has succeeded everywhere with continued regularity, to flounder in Kannaland in just six months since February .

Simmers questioned the timing of Dugmore’s statement following a special Kannaland council meeting on Wednesday morning.

“It suggests an orchestrated plot to retain an interim city manager who does what the ANC demands, a reckless disregard and abject disregard for legislation and regulations.

On Wednesday, the people of Kannaland were even denied the chance to fix the administration through a tactic of suspending the council,” he added.

Melissa C. Keyes