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Ward committee members axed for protesting

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Ward committee members who believe they were unfairly dismissed, intend to take legal action against the Speaker and the manager in the Office of the Speaker at Sol Plaatje Municipality.

A protest was held outside Sol Plaatje Municipality this week. Picture: Soraya Crowie

WARD committee members who believe they were unfairly dismissed, intend to take legal action against the Speaker and the manager in the Office of the Speaker at Sol Plaatje Municipality.

Ward 3 committee members Wayne Doyle, David Marks, Joseph Jansen and Sue-Ellen Ahmed were charged with misconduct by the Speaker’s Office after being accused of being involved in a protest calling for the removal of the ward councillor, Derick Korkie, on April 22.

The reason for the termination of their membership, in terms of the ward committee policy, was cited as “being involved with proven activities undermining council or the authority of the ward councillor”.

Ward committee secretary Marlon Africa pointed out that it was every citizen’s democratic right to engage in protest action.

“A separate set of rules applies to the ward councillor while opposition ward committee members are being targeted,” said Africa.

Jansen added that the affected ward committee members would take legal action for their “unfair dismissals” at the Department of Labour.

“We are prepared to go to court because we were removed illegally. This is not a banana republic. We were elected by members of the community. The Speaker’s Office holds no authority to remove us,” said Jansen.

He pointed out that they were “not participating in any protest”.

“We were present in our capacity as community policing forum members, to ensure that the protesters were orderly and to prevent any acts of criminality. The Speaker is supposed to be impartial and to be the guardian of the municipality.”

The spokesperson for the Office of the Executive Mayor, Keobakile Musunse, confirmed that the incident took place and that four ward committee members were dismissed this week.

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