Summit on public safety promotes DA, says Kouga councillor

A Kouga municipality councillor has accused mayor Horatio Hendricks of promoting the DA using state resources by organising a conference on public safety
UNDER FIRE: A Kouga municipality councillor has accused mayor Horatio Hendricks of promoting the DA using state resources by organising a conference on public safety
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Kouga municipal councillor Phumzile Oliphant has accused mayor Horatio Hendricks of using state funds in a bid to profile the DA by hosting a two-day public safety summit.

Two of the main speakers at the summit are Western Cape premier Alan Winde and DA MPL in the Eastern Cape legislature Bobby Stevenson.

On Monday, Oliphant alleged there were irregularities in the municipality.

He also said budgets were skewed towards affluent areas while disadvantaged communities were left unattended.

“There are expenses that will be incurred and this event was never approved by council.

“Both the mayor and the speaker are abusing state resources by profiling the DA and inviting the Western Cape premier and filling all other speaker roles with members of the DA,” he said.

Kouga local municipality falls under the Sarah Baartman District municipality.

Oliphant questioned why district mayor Khunjuzwa Kekana had not been invited to the event.

Responding to the allegations, Hendricks said Kekana had been invited but could not make it due to personal reasons.

“A member of her mayoral committee, councillor Nomhle Gaga, was also invited but was unable to attend,” he said.

Hendricks said Winde had been invited as he had a wealth of expertise and experience in public safety.

“Unfortunately, the Eastern Cape premier does not have the same,” he said.

Hendricks said the purpose of the summit was to launch the Keep Kouga Safe campaign and draft a safety plan for the region, specifically aimed at preventing and combating crime.

“Stakeholder participation, also from government role players with relevant experience, is critical.

“Due to Covid-19 limitations on the number of people who may attend a gathering, the municipality was unable to invite everyone it would have liked to,” he said.

Salga national executive committee member Buyelwa Mafaya, who is the speaker of the Nelson Mandela Bay council, is also expected to join one of the sessions.

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