On recalling councillors

Let candidates commit to recall before they are elected

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Oudtshoorn. 21 November 2012. 06h20. Until such time as our municipalities are again in the hands of the residents, and not in the claws of political parties, voters should demand that all candidates for local councils subscribe to recall. If a candidate does not comply, that candidate should be boycotted.

Not possible?

Ye gods and faeries! Us humans put men on the moon and are exploring Mars – don’t talk to me about impossible!

I propose the following recall contract to be signed by independent candidates in municipal elections:

I the undersigned, NAME, the Independent Candidate for Ward #, MUNICIPALITY, hereby undertakes to adhere to the recall provisions stated below, should I be elected to the MUNICIPAL COUNCIL on DATE.

1. A recall committee (RC) will be constituted to administer all recall submissions. This committee will
1.1. have a term of one year;
1.2. be elected at a general meeting of Ward 2 voters, convened by the independent councillor for the purpose, within 90 days of an election;
1.3. will consist of a chair and four members registered as voters in Ward #;
1.4. oversee the election of the new committee no later than 30 days before the end of its term.

2. Any registered voter in Ward # can file a recall demand with the RC Chair (RCC) at any time, subject to the following conditions:
2.1. no recall is permitted within 6 months of a ward election;
2.2. at least 6 months must lapse after an unsuccessful recall demand; and
2.3. the objector must have been present at at least 3 monthly independent councillor feedback sessions during the 6 months preceding the recall demand.

3. The objector must draft reasons for the recall with supporting evidence.

4. The recall affidavit, together with signatures representative of 20% of registered voters in Ward #, must be lodged with the RCC.

5. The councillor subject to recall has 30 working days to file an answering affidavit with the RCC.

6. The RC will meet with the councillor and the objector within 5 working days of the filing of the answering affidavit to consider the recall.

7. If the objector elects to proceed with the recall subsequent to the RC evaluation, a written intent must be filed with the RCC within 5 working days of the RC evaluation.

8. The RCC must call a meeting of registered voters in Ward # within 10 working days of the date on which the objector has filed an intent to proceed with the recall.

9. The candidate and the objector will address the meeting of registered voters. The objector must lead evidence in the recall case against the councillor. Each party will have 20 minutes to state their case and 10 minutes to reply.

10. The RCC will allow no more than 3 questions from the floor to each party . The party questioned will have 3 minutes to respond and the other party 2 minutes to reply to each question.

10. The meeting will vote, by secret ballot, to proceed to a recall vote, or to dismiss the recall.

11. If the meeting votes to proceed with the recall vote, a poll is to be held within 30 working days.

12. A simple majority on polling day will decide the recall.

13. If the recall succeeds, the councillor will tender his resignation with immediate effect and inform the speaker forthwith to instruct the municipal manager to declare a council vacancy with the IEC.

14. The result of the recall poll will be final and neither party will have recourse to the courts.

I propose that no candidate, of whichever political party, be supported by voters if the candidate does not subject to such recall provisions.

The unspeakable arrogance of political parties to nominate candidates of the leadership’s choice – and to remove councillors not dancing to the party tune at any given time – is a powerfull emetic.

Will Wayne Craig subject himself to the will of the constituents in Bitou Ward 2, as will Francois Geldenhuys?

Or will Craig have to consult “The Dear Leaders” to determine what he should do?

Sure Craig has an obligation to ask permission – which will be denied. As Craig will have to toe the DA party line in all matters, be they in Bitou’s best interest or not.

I remember the former DA Mayor of Oudtshoorn calling for a caucus – I kid you not! – to call Cape Town… On seating arrangements in council. On seating arrangements!

Will intelligence win the day in Bitou Ward 2 on December 5 – will the people of Ward 2 elect someone accountable to them only to represent them in the Bitou Council – for the benefit of all Bitou!

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13 thoughts on “On recalling councillors

  1. Catching up on some bedtime reading IP? Please read my more recent comments.

  2. Colin, Bell, your side show leaves me totally unimpressed, so does your feeble side show arguments as you have just received a public ‘snot klap” from Robert – hence your silence and still licking your festering wounds.

    Would you care to respond on DA/ANC A-C-C-O-U-N-T-A-B-L-I-T-Y for Bitou the past few years !

    Then i also PUBLICLY CHALLENGE you to come out in support / or not, of that pathetic public Statement issued by Bitou DA Constituency Chair, Liz Mundell – challenging the intelligence of all Bitou voters !

    We are waiting !!!

  3. Colin

    I do not speak for Geldenhuys;
    I will publish the final contract;
    I do not know how Geldenhuys will vote, but I have strong views in the matter which I will publish later today or tomorrow morning.

  4. Colin ( B ). In an ideal world Yes. but we are not living in an ideal world. The DA won 45.77% of the (Ward) vote and needed a “Partner”. Voila COPE, with 466 Ward votes out of 17.371 (2.68%).
    Currently COPE, with 466 (Ward) votes is KINGPIN in Bitou and, according to your theory, only responsible for the 466 (Ward) Voters who voted COPE. (I know he has a contract to vote with the DA, did the 466 COPE Voters agree?)
    I am sure that Francois, when elected, will have more than 466 (Ward) Votes. So, as such, Francois as an Independent has more “Legality” than the current KINGPIN COPE has currently.
    But we have a system, we have to work with it and accept the outcome.

  5. O!O – don’t skirt around these issues as they are fundamental to this whole process. Please answer questions one and two and perhaps you could provide an opinion on the fourth whilst reflecting a little longer before answering the third.

    Robert – in my opinion when a party/coalition wins control of a municipality they become accountable for their actions and decisions to the whole of the municipality. That is what the democratic process demands and that is what every resident is entitled to expect. If they fail, the electorate have the opportunity to vote them out of office at the next election. Mr Geldenhuys on the other hand can only be accountable to Ward 2 should he be elected, and as such cannot be held responsible for any decisions taken that impact on other parts of Bitou. It’s as straightforward as that, hence my reference to disenfranchisement and an accountability deficit.

  6. Colin B, I do not speak for Francois Geldenhuys.

    The December 5 by-election is in Ward 2 only; the other Bitou people have had their opportunity last year on May 18.

    I am delighted to suspect that I see a velleity of envy in that the other people from Bitou will not have the priviledge of recall.

    Nothing stops the good people of Bitou to demand that their councillors all sign the recall agreement!

    Try selling that to Fransman and “deputy” Botha!

    The other voters can not possibly be disenfranchised by the independent’s presence!

    Surely the councillors representing the balance of voters will work with the independent for the betterment of Bitou!?

    The single independent can not make decisions without the support of brother (and sister) councillors.

  7. Colin ( B ). This is getting interesting as we are getting to the nitty gritty. You state that the “Coalition” (DA & COPE) as a unified body are accountable to all of Bitou. The ANC have 5 Ward Councillors (elected by the voters) and one PR. Those 6 are not part of that “Coalition” or “Unified body” and are in fact Disfranchised.
    i.e. just over 46% of Bitou and/or 71+% of the Wards have no say in the way the town is run by only 2 Ward Councillors and 5 PR Councillors. Are you happy with that? Is that Democraty?
    But that is the system, so if one Councillor (Independent) happens to have the controlling vote after a Democratic Election, we all have to live with that. Re the No-Confidence vote, that will be debated in Council and all Councillors should be able to vote in the interest of the town.(7 ward Councillors and 6 PR) But, we have to wait, 12 will be instructed. But I am just a spectator.

  8. O!O – I am encouraged to see that you are beginning to make some tangible progress.

    I have several questions:

    I note that you are proposing that the recall contract to be signed by the independent candidate (Mr Geldenhuys). Can you confirm that you have been charged with drafting the Contract by the candidate and that there aren’t other versions being constructed as we speak.

    Can I assume that once the Recall Contract is signed that you will publish it for the edification of all the voters of Ward 2 before the election? They have a right to know what they are getting with the Independent Councillor in order for them to make an informed decision particularly as this forms the bedrock of his campaign manifesto.

    Moving on to a more complex issue,and one that I trust you will give respectful consideration before answering or avoiding, the recall contract makes him ‘accountable’ solely to the voters of ward 2. It is a fact however that he will have the controlling vote on all matters debated and voted on in Council that affect the lives of all the people of Bitou. This means in effect that whatever is acceptable to the representative of Ward 2 and his voters will become a ‘fait accompli’ for the rest of Bitou. Good news for Ward 2 but a situation that will in effect disenfranchise the majority of residents in Bitou and one that is open to abuse. At least the coalition as a unified body are accountable to all of Bitou. Where is the accountability, when he will have so much power, of the independent Councillor for the rest of Bitou?

    Putting aside this accountability deficit for a moment there is the more pressing issue of the Motion of No Confidence. As this will have such a fundamental impact on the immediate future of the Council the voters of Ward 2 have a right to know which way Mr Geldenhuys will vote should he be elected. When is he going to announce his intentions?

  9. Dis presies die punt, Nike. En dit is presies waarom ons moet stem vir die onafhanklike kandidaat. Om die raadslid verantwoordelik te maak teenoor ons wat hom kies. Nou in Plet en more in ander munisipaliteite in die Wes Kaap. Ons moet beheer terugneem van ons dorpe uit die hande van politici wat die dorp opoffer vir eiebelang.

  10. Investigative public, accountability does not exists in National, Provincial or Local government.

  11. Colin Bell and Mr Craig, while you are both scratching your heads about how to side step the RECALL GUARANTEE CLAUSE and attempt to trash the intelligence of Wars 2’s voters once more, please SPELL for your constituents;
    A-C-C-O-U-N-T-A-B-I-L-I-T-Y, that same disease the ANC and now also the DA has suffered from for years (that selfsame disease you expect your enslaved voters to foot the bill with hard earned taxpayers money time and time again)

    No Bell and Craig, i said ACCOUNTABILITY,
    not IRRESPONSIBILITY, CORRUPTION, LIES, UNLAWFUL AND WASTEFUL EXPENDITURE, TENDERPRENEURSHIP, JOBS AND REWARDS FOR PALS, INCOMPETENCE etc !!!!!

    If you and the DA do not suffer from the above diseases, THEN SIGN THE CONTRACT of ACCOUNTABILITY and CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH – how difficult can that be.

    That is the voters ONLY GUARANTEE ! Why, if you buy a new car, you want a guarantee, but not the “New Car Wars 2 Cllr” that will cost, with perks, the voters in excess of R300 000 p/a in taxpayers money! No guarantee, but just more of the same – you voters will HAVE TO PAY me that salary installment over 5 years, whether this “Ward 2 Cllr Craig Vehicle” performs or not ! How stupid do you really think the public has become, or does that shoe rather fit both you and Craig, hey Colin ???? Tell us i pray, tell us now or leave Town !

  12. Spot On OO !!

    Does Honourable COLIN BELL AND CRAIG care to comment on; Will Craig sign a PUBLIC RECALL CLAUSE (or is he already admitting in advance to his few constituents, sorry all you 5% supporting voters of Ward 2, once i have my 5 year meal ticket, i listen to the far removed from Bitou Bosses in Cape Town and NOT YOU. I never signed a recall clause , so up yours !

    Care to comment BOTH Craig and Bell ?

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