Colleagues planned for months to get me out, says ex-Ward 1 representative
Recently ousted Ward 1 councillor Rashied Adams has accused his former DA colleagues – including mayor Athol Trollip – of plotting to remove him. Outside the media conference where Adams made these allegations, two Ward 1 committee members alleged he was never present to attend to ward matters and owed hundreds of thousands of rands to residents.
Adams held the briefing in the UDM offices after he was denied access to the council chambers.
Council speaker Jonathan Lawack indicated this had been on his instruction, as Adams was now a member of the public and had not written to ask permission for use of the facilities.
Adams said he had called the briefing to shed light on an alleged plot hatched against him by senior colleagues as early as June.
“I may be young, but I am not naive and I’m not weak,” Adams said.
He said he had experienced financial difficulties earlier this year, and that some colleagues had exploited this in a bid to remove him.
“My senior colleagues, who really wanted me out, plotted this ousting for months and saw an opportunity in my financial situation.
“The plan was simple: smear [my] name in the media, and then fire [me] as [I] would have brought the party into disrepute.”
He said unpaid tithe fees was a lame excuse for his dismissal from the party.
“I was meant to pay candidate fees, and I only skipped one payment. The party was unreasonable.
“I’ve been threatened, used, undermined and mentally abused. I’ve received threats from the executive mayor [and] some of these threats entail physical harm to me.
“I moved out of my office as I was systematically replaced.
“Councillor Leander Kruger was parachuted into the Ward 1 office to augment my work. He was protected and I was kicked to the kerb and effectively removed to act as the PR councillor.”
It was this move that meant residents could not reach him for a short while, he said, as he worked without an office.
“I can proudly say that I’ve served my residents. I’ve genuinely played my part, and done my absolute best under very dark circumstances.”
This was, however, not the view held by ward committee member Gail Pullen, who gained access to the media conference to question why Adams had not attended committee meetings in the ward.
Pullen was berated and told to leave by UDM councillor and former deputy mayor Mongameli Bobani, who accused her of trying to embarrass Adams.
A shaken Pullen said she had simply wanted answers as to why Adams had not been present at the meetings.
She also alleged Adams owed money to at least two committee members.
One of these members, Stephen Moore, said he intended to pursue legal action as Adams owed him R5 000, along with allegedly owing money to other residents. “He hasn’t paid me back despite many promises,” Moore said.
Outside a media conference, two Ward 1 committee members alleged #RashiedAdams was never present to attend to ward matters and owed hundreds of thousands of rands to residents. pic.twitter.com/lpmrcow6Kb
— HeraldLIVE (@HeraldPE) December 13, 2017
He said he was also disappointed by Adams’s performance as councillor.
“I hoped he’d action reasonable requests, return calls and be present at meetings – the basics of what a councillor should do.”
Adams said he would look into the debt Pullen had mentioned, but the matter had been dealt with in his opinion.
“I’ve had friends who assisted me [financially], but I’ve recovered now.”
He also said he had only called one ward committee meeting, and that the meetings which he had not attended had been called and chaired by Kruger.
DA provincial leader Nqaba Bhanga denied Adams’ allegations of a plot and threats from the mayor.
“It is not true,” Bhanga said. “We made a decision as the provincial executive committee based on [his failure to pay].
“According to the DA, all public representatives have a responsibility to pay candidate fees [if elected] within six months, and if you fail to do that, you cease to be a member.It has nothing to do with the municipality.
“I have an obligation to look at [these matters] and we had to make a decision to protect the integrity of the party.”