IOL - NEWS / 29 JANUARY 2020 - 08:01 / FRANCESCA VILLETTE
Cape Town – The DA in George has passed a motion of no confidence in its mayor, Melvin Naik, a move that has been described by opposition parties as a blow to black economic empowerment in the region.
DA constituency head Geordin Hill-Lewis yesterday said the motion was successful, with 22 of 25 votes. There was one abstention.
George mayor Melvin Naik Picture: George Municipality
The result will now be forwarded to the Federal Executive, which will consider the result and decide on whether to give Naik three days to offer reasons why he should not resign.
Hill-Lewis said based on Naik’s reasons, it would then be decided whether to take matters further, including presenting the motion to the council.
“We recognise that this is a difficult time for George. It is in times of difficulty that true values are shown. We will move swiftly now to restore the integrity of the mayoralty, and of the George Municipality.
“I applaud the DA’s caucus for acting swiftly on these serious and substantiated allegations of corruption, and for handling this matter with such resolve. This shows the DA’s commitment to root out corruption wherever it occurs,” Hill-Lewis said.
The vote came after the DA studied the findings of a forensic investigation into allegations of fraud, corruption, maladministration and serious malpractice within the George Municipality.
The investigation was conducted at the instruction of Local Government MEC Anton Bredell and made two serious findings against Naik relating to alleged corruption and interference in administrative processes.
Naik has denied all the allegations against him, and they have not been proven in court.
Naik yesterday did not respond to requests for comment.
Independent Civic Organisation of SA spokesperson Dawid Kamfer yesterday accused the DA of ignoring other people who could be implicated in wrongdoing, and targeting Naik because he was advocating for black economic empowerment.
He alleged a “white cabal” was running the show in the region.
“The mayor was a strong supporter of black businesses. It’s difficult for black businesses to break through the difficulties they face in the area. The DA is picking on the mayor. We encourage Naik to speak out,” Kamfer said.
ANC chief whip in George Nomawethu Sixholo echoed Kamfer’s sentiments.
She said the DA’s meeting had run until 7pm on Monday night.
“The problem is that they are acting on old allegations. It involves other councillors as well. If they want to act, they must act against everyone,” Sixholo said.
Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER