<html> <head> <title>ANC rejects DA`s Unicity Travesty of Democracy

ANC rejects DA`s Unicity Travesty of Democracy

ANC rejects DA`s Unicity Travesty of Democracy

24 April 2002

The ANC Chief Whip in the Cape Town City Council made the following statement today in the Council meeting, withdrawing the ANC`s motion of no confidence in the DA`s Mayor Gerald Morkel:

ANC Statement:

On 14 April we called on the Mayor to resign by 12h00 noon on Wednesday 17 April, due to his inappropriate relationship with Mr J Harksen, a person reportedly facing both fraud and tax evasion charges both in SA and Germany. The Mayor`s failure to heed this call led us to place a motion for the Mayor`s removal on the Council agenda of today.

Can we therefore trust such a man as the Mayor, who prone to such monumental errors of judgement, to run the weighty, complex affairs of the city?

The reason for us having taken this action are fivefold, namely:

  1. The mayor had lied to the people about his relationship with the alleged criminal, J Harksen.
  2. The inappropriate relationship between the Mayor and Mr J Harksen has had a negative impact on the Council and the city and has brought the Council into disrepute by creating an impression that our First Citizen is involved with criminals.
  3. The Mayor has disgraced Cape Town and its people by this action irrespective if the Mayor has gained personally from the relationship or not.
  4. This relationship has undermined the trust of the residents of Cape Town in the Mayor and by association, the Council.
  5. The majority of Councillors in this Council across Political party lineds do not approve of this relationship.

Mr Speaker, we have noted the support the Mayor received at the DA Federal Congress. There is also a high level of suspicion and intimidation in this council as a result of the impending cross-over legislation.

Because of that suspicion, councillors have been faced with undue harassment and intimidation. We have reason to believe that Councillors within the DA have been individually interrogated and threatened with an ultimatum to vote in support of the Mayor or face being kicked out.

We felt that the only way in which this item can be dealt with in a fair and proper way without interference from forces outside this Council is by means of a secret ballot. A letter was thus written to the City Manager requesting that he arrange the means for conducting a secret ballot to be held for this matter.

Unfortunately this has not been secured and as far as we are aware the Speaker has not retracted the DA`s publicly articulated position that his matter will be dealt with by an open show of hands. We believe that to continue under these circumstances, where it is clear that councillors will be monitored and not allowed to vote with their conscience is tantamount to reducing our motion to a farce.

We have thus taken the decision not to insult the residents of Cape Town with the pantomime of an open vote by show of hands. Everyone in this Council and in this City, including the Mayor, knows what the results of a free vote would be. We believe it is in the interest of democracy, and clean government that Morkel should go. It is a matter of time before he will go.

Consequently, we are withdrawing our motion.

Peter J Gabriel ANC CHIEF WHIP

For more information contact: Max Ozinsky on 082 414 7147 [Regional ANC Secretary] or Peter Gabriels on 083 629 0883 [ANC Chief Whip Unicity]

Issued by African National Congress - Western Cape