South Africa

George mayor vows to sue DA for terminating his membership

Cape Town - George mayor Melvin Naik vowed to sue his party, the DA, for terminating his membership in a bid to remove him from office over allegations of corruption.

Naik, who had been given until the end of business yesterday to resign by DA George constituency head Geordin Hill-Lewis, remained defiant on Wednesday and said: “If they don’t stop this unconstitutional process against me we will approach the courts for relief.”

Hill-Lewis said: “We have noted the comments made by mayor Melvin Naik. Naik was on Monday given a 48-hour period to resign from his position as mayor, whereafter the party will respond accordingly. Should he refuse to do so, his membership of the DA will cease.”

Naik said the DA’s move against him was “a witch-hunt” and claimed his troubles with the party began when he told them “a fair recruitment process should be followed because I am not in favour of cadre deployment”.

Meanwhile, a year-long investigation by the Good party into allegations of corruption in George claims to have uncovered evidence of interference by national and provincial DA leaders in the recruitment of senior municipal staff.

Good MPL Brett Herron said, “While the DA appears intent on holding its mayor Melvin Naik responsible for incompetence and criminality in the municipality, including for the irregular appointment of senior staff, Good’s investigation has revealed that the DA were themselves trying to irregularly influence the appointment of senior staff in the town.”

The department of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning responded and said: “There was an independent forensic investigation into George Municipality and it came up with very serious conclusions which must now be taken further by the authorities.”

Shadow Local Government MEC Danville Smith said: We believe the mayor has got to be held accountable for some of the mess in the municipality, but we don’t agree with him being used as a scapegoat.”

The EFF’s Melikhaya Xego said: “We can’t be drawn to the DA mess of internal politics. All we expect is the accountability of the mayor before the council.”

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Cape Argus