The battle between the ANC and the DA for control has been vicious and expensive. Just as the ANC thought they were going to win, their councillor, Nolan Stuurman, resigned, forcing a by-election that will be held this Wednesday.
Stuurman has been accused of bribery, the ANC asking for him to be investigated. However, in a twist in the tale, the DA has issued a press release stating that he’s joined the DA. However, he will not be running as their candidate. Instead, Speaker Annelise Olivier, the woman behind the court cases that just cost the taxpayer a small fortune, is their candidate. She was the same person who accused the ANC of threats of violence which not only materialised but found to have no substance by the courts.
The ANC will oppose with Samuel Jansen a.k.a. ‘Oom’ Sammy who may be well respected but has some shaking their heads at his 78 years of age.
Helen Zille, who rarely visits the small towns on the Garden Route, visited Bitou’s suburb of KwaNokuthula this week, accusing the ANC, without evidence, of working “through criminal elements to stir up violence and vandalism.”
Zille’s visit was so out of the ordinary that it amplifies the fact that this by-election is too close to call. With Deputy Mayor Adam van Rhyner’s disciplinary hearing having finished but still awaiting a provincial decision that will still be sent on to a national COPE committee, the future of Bitou is uncertain. If the ANC wins, the town will remain in a stalemate. If the DA wins, they may lose it later if COPE decides to vote with the ANC.
The only certainty is that politics in Plettenberg Bay is as messy as it gets and that ALL political parties have failed the citizens they are suppose to be serving.
Click here to read the speech that Helen Zille delivered in KwaNokuthula.