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Knysna Mayor Mark Willemse resigns as Eden district council Speaker

Willemse consulted his lawyers on Monday before tendering his resignation.

Mark Willemse. Picture: Knysna.gov.za

CAPE TOWN - Controversially elected Knysna Mayor Mark Willemse has resigned as Eden district council Speaker.

Willemse was last week elected as mayor of the Garden Route town, following the axing of former mayor Eleanore Bouw-Spies in an African National Congress (ANC) sponsored motion of no confidence.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) then asked Willemse to resign from the position, as senior officials described the move as a coup.

At the time, DA seniors asked Willemse to step down as Knysna mayor, he held two positions, that of mayor and Eden District Council Speaker.

Willemse consulted his lawyers on Monday before tendering his resignation.

Meanwhile, the party’s federal executive has given the go-ahead for the Stellenbosch town council to introduce a motion of no confidence against its Speaker.

Officials this past weekend considered Donovan Joubert's reasons why he should not resign.

The DA caucus in the Stellenbosch municipality indicated in April they want Speaker Donovan Joubert to vacate his position.

He then had to provide reasons why he should not be sacked.

DA federal council chairperson James Selfe explains: “We have given permission for the Stellenbosch council to introduce a motion no confidence in him and that will take place in due course.”

Selfe says the party's federal legal commission is also dealing with responses from George Mayor Melvin Naik. The DA informed him of the termination of his party membership last week.

It's believed Naik canvassed DA members to support an opposition sponsored motion of no confidence against the council speaker and deputy mayor.

In Matzikama, an election panel will be convened to elect a new mayor after Rhenda Stephan resigned from the position.

In Berg River, Evert Manuel also resigned as mayor ahead of a special council meeting last month.

Meanwhile, Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille will have to wait a few more weeks before she learns if the DA acted unlawfully in sacking her. De Lille is challenging the party’s decision in the Western Cape High Court. The DA rescinded De Lille's party membership, saying she publicly declared she would resign from the party. The court has, however, suspended that decision pending the an application.

The former PAC and ID stalwart maintains she's the victim, with the DA dead set on removing her without proof that she's done anything wrong. The party argues she's lost the confidence of the caucus in council and is not fit to hold office.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)