KNYSNA NEWS - The Western Cape High Court found that the DAs decision to terminate former Knysna mayor Mark Willemse’s membership was valid.
The DA, on 30 September last year, terminated Willemse’s party membership following months of internal turmoil.
This started when Willemse voted “with his conscience” in favour of a motion of no confidence in former DA mayor Eleanore Bouw-Spies last year.
Following the successful ousting of Bouw-Spies, DA members left the council chambers without voting for a new mayor. Willemse was then nominated for the position of mayor and was voted in by the majority of remaining councillors, mainly ANC members.
Willemse has thereafter been in the party’s sights and have faced two votes of no confidence himself. This was brought by his own caucus members. These failed and Willemse remained at the helm until now.
Following his membership termination, the mayoral committee was disbanded and Willemse’s seat was declared vacant.
Willemse then turned to the Western Cape High Court for an interdict to place his suspension on hold.
Judge AJ Sievers concluded in his judgment on Thursday that while Willemse was entitled to vote with his conscience, it did not mean that he could escape the “sanction it invites”.
“Political parties are at the core of our democracy. In order to function as a true political party they require the power to, if necessary, expel members for failing to adhere to party decisions,” Sievers said.
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