The ANC recalled its Dunoon ward councillor, Meisie Makuwa, last week, citing complaints about her performance from the township’s branch of the SA National Civic Organisation.
Ms Makuwa said in a statement that she had received no formal letter notifying her of her recall and had only learnt of it minutes before a meeting at the Cape Town Civic Centre last Friday.
But ANC regional secretary Mvusi Mdala told Tabletalk that Ms Makuwa had been made aware before last Friday’s meeting of the complaints against her and that the final decision to recall her had followed several unsuccessful attempts to resolve them.
Accusations that she was unresponsive to the community’s concerns had not only come from Sanco’s Dunoon branch but also from various community organisations and residents, he said.
“The regional executive committee believes that the breakdown in the relationship between the councillor, the ANC branch, and the community is irreparable. We urge our public representatives to prioritise the interests of the people and fulfil their social contract,” said Mr Mdala.
An ANC proportional representation councillor would be appointed as the ward’s “caretaker” in the interim, he said.
In a statement, Sanco’s Dunoon branch thanked the ANC for acknowledging its complaints and concerns and said Ms Makuwa’s “incompetence” was damaging the image of the ANC.
Further questions were sent to Ms Makuwa who said she had no further comment and would be seeking legal advice.
Ms Makuwa, a first-time councillor, was elected in the 2021 local government elections.
Apart from Dunoon, the ward includes The Stables, Cape Farms, Racing Park, Brentwood Park, parts of Malibongwe Drive and Giel Basson Drive and part of Killarney Gardens.
The ward forms part of Sub-council 3, chaired by Phindile Maxiti, who confirmed that Ms Makuwa had been involved in a road-resurfacing project, the building of informal trading bays and a MyCiTi bus station re-construction programme, but he declined to comment on the allegations against her.
Michael Hendrickse, from the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), told Tabletalk that according to electoral law, a councillor’s recall would not, in itself, trigger a by-election.
“The recall of the councillor doesn’t change anything unless she resigns or is expelled so, in effect, that post is still filled.”
However, should the councillor resign, the party would have to notify the City manager who would then inform the IEC, he said.
“Currently, no such communication has taken place,” said Mr Hendrickse.
The City’s chief whip, Desiree Vasagie, said her office had received no formal resignation from Ms Makuwa. She added that the office had never received any complaints about her.