Knysna’s DA Mayor now has an ANC Deputy Mayor and an ANC Speaker…
WINNERS & LOSERS
On May 31, Knysna Democratic Alliance Mayor Mark Willemse easily defeated a Motion of No Confidence (MONC) brought against him by fellow councillor Michelle Wasserman, who is considered by some to be proxy for Premier Alan Winde.
On June 1, DA Western Cape Leader Bonginkosi Madikezela stated that the DA was now the opposition in Knysna. It was obviously a strange thing to say as the DA had won the 2016 election and, through coalition, still rules the town. What he meant to say, is that his losing faction was gathering toys to throw.
BACKLASH BY WHITE VOTERS AGAINST DA
Madikizela’s tantrum may have been aimed at useless Media but what he really meant was understood by those who’d been emancipated from the DA in the town he was destroying. Many previously staunch DA supporters have flipped 180 degrees after witnessing never-ending Cape Town induced scandals in Knysna. They’ve staged two protests in support of Willemse.
The adult part of the Madikizela equation is the protection of corruption. He and Premier Alan Winde have continuously been involved in cover-up for criminals, thus becoming criminals themselves.
Mayor Mark Willemse is DA and regular states that he’s upholding the values of the DA but is being persecuted for it.
Consequently, because politics is about power and patronage (i.e. salary), seven of the nine local DA councillors have chosen to support the evil of their big bosses – DA first, Public last.
Mayor Willemse is supported by DA Mayoral Committee member Peter Myers. Neither are angels but the fact is that they’re the only ones calling for some of the corruption to be punished. One of the biggest villains they want to hold to account is ex-Mayor Eleanore Spies but, instead, the DA promoted her to the National Assembly where she will bizarrely maintain oversight over the Auditor General.
A NEW PARTY IS NEEDED
It’s obvious that the political lifespan of Willemse and Myers is burning. They may not have been found guilty of anything but they must be acutely aware that the DA Federal Executive will find a way to get them. It’s been repeatedly proven that fair process doesn’t matter.
Although they have the support of many citizens, the fact is that it will be difficult for them to win a by-election. Their wards are 9 and 10, the wealthiest areas with the whitest population. If by-elections happen, the DA is guaranteed to drop to its poorest election result. However, that may not be enough to defeat the bias of conservative voters who don’t pay attention and vote the same every time, against the ANC rather than for DA policy.
Consequently, the longer path to success is to establish a new political party which will compete in the 2021 elections. In that manner, Willemse and Myers can gather important PR votes and win 1-2 seats. In alliance with another small party, they’d control the town through a swing voting block.
TOUGH DECISIONS, ALLIES VS ENEMIES
Knysna experiences political upheaval every season. Two years is a long way away.
For now, all Willemse and Myers can do is hold on for as long as possible. That requires them to get rid of as many of their enemies as possible. That started today when they put allies into the Mayoral and Portfolio Committees. That doesn’t mean the the most qualified people will be in charge but the awkward truth is that they cannot run Knysna Municipality whilst being constantly undermined and attacked.
First refer to the screenshot from the Special Council Meeting that was held today. It shows some of the game of thrones this year:
The next step was to get rid of Deputy Mayor Elrick van Aswegen.
Van Aswegen is the only COPE council representative in the Western Cape. Last year, he scored his deputy mayorship by voting for Willemse and against previous DA Mayor Eleanore Spies.
In my experience, Van Aswegen is for Van Aswegen, the longest running politician in town because he’s a chameleon; smart and untrustworthy. It’s therefore unremarkable that he’s been voting against the very people who put him in power, and allegedly tried to protect DA Councillor Georlene Wolmarans. he failed as she was removed as Speaker after her faction (same as Wasserman’s) failed to get rid of Willemse. Titi Gombi, from the ANC, became the Speaker.
The Motion of No Confidence (MONC) against Van Aswegen was submitted by Welcome Salaze who, despite being KUC (Knysna Unity Congress), has always been a Peter Myers loyalist. If a new party arose, it would be unsurprising if he joined it, or rejoined the ANC.
As last year’s election of Willemse to Mayor happened with support from the ANC, it’s also no surprise that ANC Leader Thando Matika was the MONC seconder.
Matika assumed his position after Victor Molosi was assassinated last year. The evil DA’s faction coalition partner, Velile Waxa, is one of the three suspects. Whose paying his legal bills is currently one of the biggest rumour mill spinners.
Van Aswegen got booted out and Aubrey Tshengwa, who was close to Molosi, was made Deputy Mayor. I wasn’t there for the vote but am sure that couldn’t have happened without support from Willemse and Myers through abstention. Bizarrely, the DA never put up a candidate, ensuring Tshengwa would win. A comment on the Knysna-Plett Herald’s FB page summed up the DA as: “My fok, Marelize!”
As bonus, Ray Barrell, was reelected as Chairman of the Audit Committee. He’s an ex-DA councillor who was pushed out by the evil faction last election. It seems obvious that they had a problem with him performing well. More important than him also being a Myers/Willemse loyalist is that he’s competent.
The DA leadership’s latest move is to issue a flyer attacking its own Mayor standing against corruption.
Knysna is the political version of Syria. The battles never end. Ward 5, previously held by the DA, has a by-election happening soon.