A DA councillor in the City of Tshwane has allegedly been absent without leave for nine months and counting, according to the ANC Tshwane caucus.
“The ANC has learned with utter dismay about the councillor of Ward 03 [Pretoria West] who has been absent for nine months and counting. DA councillor Carlos de Bruin has simply gone AWOL and not even the DA can account for his whereabouts,” ANC Tshwane regional secretary Eugene Bonzo Modise claimed in a statement on Thursday.
The Tshwane caucus alleged De Bruin had vacated his seat and was now a permanent resident of the City of Cape Town.
“The seat was vacated when he moved out of Ward 03 in 2018,” Modise explained. “This demonstrates the level of disdain the DA holds for the people of Tshwane.”
The ANC was of the view that the DA, which controls the municipality, had deliberately covered up these developments.
“The whole predicament stems from the fact that the law only allows for three months of absence from the council and thereafter there should be a by-election,” Modise said.
The ANC said it would follow due process with the relevant authorities, including the Electoral Commission of South Africa to ensure that a by-election was held in Ward 03.
The DA in Tshwane refuted the allegations, saying the residents of Ward 03 have not been abandoned.
“When councillor Carlo de Bruin fell ill, we immediately appointed an acting ward councillor, James Ndlovu, who has been doing a great job,” the DA’s chief whip in the council, Christo van den Heever, said in a statement.
“We therefore dispute allegations made by the ANC that councillor De Bruin has been absent for nine months.”
Van Den Heever, however, conceded that De Bruin had been absent from three consecutive council meetings, saying it was in direct violation of the Municipal Systems Act 32 of 2000.
“I will be writing a letter to Gauteng Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Lebogang Maile in accordance with the act to remove councillor De Bruin from office.
“Once again the ANC is playing cheap politics to discredit the present coalition government which delivers quality services to the residents of Tshwane.”