KNYSNA NEWS - DA Councillor in Knysna Municipality Michelle Wasserman has resigned from the Knysna council but will continue being a member of the DA.
Speaking to KPH this week after the announcement, Wasserman said she has spent seven years (2011 – 2015; 2018 – 2021) in the Knysna Council and she decided that it was time for her to do something new.
"I am not going to parliament. I have exciting, creative things planned for the future and I want to get going with them," she said.
"I remain a committed DA member and supporter. I hope that people realise that if they vote for small parties or independent candidates in the coming local government elections, they will only have themselves to blame when Knysna goes down the tubes."
Wasserman thinks people don't realise how bad things are in the Knysna Council and that voting for the DA is the only option if they want Knysna to succeed.
Wasserman also denied speculation that she was leaving due to allegations that she contravened the Code of Conduct for Municipal Councillors.
In a council meeting last week, Speaker Mertle Gombo tabled a report on the complaints levelled against Wasserman.
Council referred the matter to its disciplinary committee to investigate and make a finding on any alleged breach of provisions of the code of conduct and to make an appropriate recommendation to Council.
The agenda item states that Gombo received allegations of breach of the code of conduct against Wasserman from the attorney firm Chimes Van Wyk, acting on behalf of the Thesen Island Homeowners Association (TIHOA). According to Chimes Van Wyk's letter to Gombo, Wasserman assisted a third party who is in opposition to her own municipality in a pending High Court application without following due and/ or any process.
When asked whether the investigation was her reason for resigning, Wasserman said the item has nothing to do with her resignation and labelled the complaint "laughable".
"I consulted with experienced municipal officials and lawyers who specialise in municipal law, and they all confirmed to me that the investigation could go nowhere as the allegations are completely without foundation. I tried to help a Knysna resident obtain a council resolution, which is a public document.
"In fact, helping residents access information to which they are entitled is the job of a municipal councillor. I also had permission to request the document. The notion that this was somehow a breach of the councillor's code of conduct is simply laughable and certainly didn't inform my decision to leave," she said.
In a press statement, DA Constituency Head Dion George noted Wasserman's resignation from the Knysna Council.
"She has served the people of Knysna with distinction and her contribution to the DA caucus in Knysna was invaluable. In particular, her legal expertise has greatly assisted in holding the governing ANC alliance to account," he said.
"We wish her all the best in her future endeavours," George said
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