After four years as a DA councillor in the Kouga Municipality, Desmond Petersen has been fired with immediate effect following disciplinary action.
Yesterday, the party’s provincial disciplinary committee chairwoman, Vicky Knoetze, said Petersen had been fired for voting in a manner other than in accordance with a party caucus decision.
Petersen, who has been a councillor since 2013 and was appointed as the member of the mayoral committee responsible for infrastructure and planning when the DA won the Kouga municipal election last year, confirmed his dismissal.
Another mayoral committee member, Dr Nico Botha, was also removed from the committee but remains a councillor.
Botha declined to comment regarding his removal, saying: “I reserve my right to take further action, but I am still deciding on the way forward.”
The DA’s constituency leader in the Tsitsi-Kouga region, Dr Malcolm Figg, said Petersen had been dismissed following a disciplinary process.
“He was found guilty during the process of violating internal caucus rules. As a result of his DA membership being terminated, he could no longer be a councillor,” Figg said.
Knoetze said disciplinary action had been taken following a council meeting on August 31.
She said Petersen had voted “in a manner other than in accordance with a party caucus decision [and this] gave rise to section 3.5.2 of the federal constitution of the Democratic Alliance taking effect in that a member who ceases to be a member loses all privileges of party membership.
“[He] was given the prescribed time frame in which to respond [and] he requested an extended time period, which was granted.
“[Petersen], however, responded that he had decided not to continue with the case and was unable to give reasons as to why his membership should not be terminated.”
Petersen was elected as councillor for Ward 5 in Humansdorp in the municipal elections in August last year, when the DA won 17 seats in council and the ANC secured 12 seats.
His successor will be appointed following a by-election on December 13