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DA in Nelson Mandela Bay to challenge 'salary payments' to its former councillors

May 28, 2019
DA in Nelson Mandela Bay to challenge 'salary payments' to its former councillors

Port Elizabeth - The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Tuesday said that it will urgently be seeking answers after it came to light that the African National Congress (ANC)-led coalition that is running the Nelson Mandela Bay has apparently made a commitment to pay councillor salaries to former councillors, Neville Higgins, Trevor Louwand Victor Manyati.

The three after former DA members that were removed from their positions.

"It came to our attention that the three former councillors met with the mayoral committee on Monday last week regarding what they call a 'salary rescue plan'," described former Nelson Mandela Bay Municiplity Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip.

"Following this meeting, a message was sent by the former councillors to the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Speaker, Chief Whip and the mayoral committee.

"The content of this message implies  that the mayoral committee has committed to making 'salary' payments to Higgins, Louw and Manyati by Friday, 31 May 2019.

"This proves that Higgins, Louw and Mayati were promised financial inducement to collapse the previous DA-led administration."

Trollip says paying Higgins, Louw and Mayati is abuse of State resources

Trollip said that such actions amount to abusing state resources for political gain "and is another prime example of state capture under an ANC-led government".

"These arrangements also defy the wishes of the electorate – the people of Nelson Mandela Bay in 2016 voted for change and a new government not another incarnation of a corrupt ANC government.

"Furthermore, it has also come to light that Louw and Higgins received salary payments for an extended period after the Port Elizabeth High Court had found that they were no longer councillors," Trollip added.

"The DA will be taking the necessary action to ensure that all monies paid irregularly to these former councillors are recouped as a matter of urgent public importance."

He said that in 2016, little more than a month before the local government election, the ANC under former Mayor Danny Jordaan allegedly employed the same financial inducement tactic when 7 DA councillors defected from the DA to join the ANC.

"In July 2016, Mr Jordaan allegedly instructed the Municipality to pay salaries to these councillors, even though they had been removed from office," Trollip said.

"It is irregular and unlawful to pay a councillor salary to anyone who is not a bona fide councillor."

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