Emotions ran high at a meeting last week to elect a new Table View Ratepayers’ Association (TVRA) committee – several candidates withdrew their nominations in protest, claiming the meeting violated the association’s constitution.
The special general meeting (SGM) at Blouberg Ridge Primary School, on Wednesday August 24, seemed at times to mimic recent events in Parliament, when former TVRA chairman and suspended member Leon Alhadeff interrupted proceedings to call for a point of order, arguing the meeting violated the TVRA’s constitution.
Current chairwoman Mandy Da Matta refused to acknowledge Mr Alhadeff’s call. Several members, however, backed Mr Alhadeff, saying members had not been given 14 days written notice of the SGM, as they claimed was stipulated by the TVRA constitution. Section 5.2 of the TVRA constitution states: “The Committee may itself, or if requested in writing by at least 10 members of the association, on 14 days written notice, convene a Special General Meeting. The notice aforesaid shall state the purpose of the meeting.”
The members also wanted to know why several former exco members had been suspended (“TVRA’s ‘future’ on meeting agenda,” Tabletalk August 10).
However, 141 TVRA members in person and in proxy outnumbered the 19 members who objected to the meeting, and the elections went ahead with 21 eligible candidates.
However, one by one, Mr Alhadeff, Pam du Plessis, Alex Lepnik, Tony and Schulla Pronk, Ray de Beer, Martin Essl, Angus Brits and Jamie Agenbag withdrew as candidates to murmurs among members, some of whom could be heard asking in hushed tones what point there was in voting and voicing frustration that those they had had hoped to vote for were no longer standing.
Ms Du Plessis said she was not prepared to serve on an “illegal” committee before storming off, and Ms Agenbag said she had to consider what was best for her, her family and her career.
Before withdrawing, Ms Pronk said that she had been on the TVRA for five years and served on the exco for three.
She said the mass withdrawal was because the meeting was unconstitutional.
“You mentioned that everything is done by the book, but the constitution states we need 14 days written notice. We were not given 14 days written notice. You can’t just say let’s just get a brand new exco – the problems won’t go away,” said Ms Pronk.
Amid high tensions, the remaining candidates, Peter Glaum, Ursula Venter, Maxine Wolffe, Suzanne Pittaway, Stefan Hippler, George Zaverdinos, Kevin Njukuja, Dorothy Klopper, Marie Enslin, Hassan Suliman, Roy Fuller-Gee and Mandy Da Matta, introduced themselves to the TVRA.
Ms Klopper said she had been a resident in Table View for 15 years and strove to look after the community’s elderly.
She appealed to TVRA members to stop fighting. She specifically spoke to the elderly residents for causing disruption in the association, calling them “bad”.
A tearful Ms Enslin said it broke her heart to see the community so divided with neighbours fighting and calling each other names.
She wanted to see positive change in the community, she said.
Roy Fuller Gee said the feuding between TVRA members on social media had been embarrassing.
Members should have more maturity and not handle issues on social media or in the press.
Ms Da Matta, who had stepped down as chair before the election, said she wanted to build bridges and communicate constructively with the City of Cape Town.
“I have a vision and a dream, and I know what the area is capable of. With a team like this behind me, we’ll be able to focus on two areas which is safety and security and property values.
“We need to work to get the ship sailing smoothly in choppy waters.”
Ms Da Matta retains her post as chairwoman and George Zaverdinos is the vice chairman.
The posts for Ms Enslin, Ms Wolffe, Mr Suliman, Mr Njukuja, Mr Hippler, Mr Glaum and Mr Fuller-Gee have yet to be disclosed.