There was drama at a Blaauwberg sub-council meeting yesterday (18/06/2009) when the Democratic Alliance (DA) tabled a motion of no confidence in African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) sub-council chairman Vincent Bergh, but later withdrew the motion after he indicated he would resign voluntarily.
Bergh’s resignation follows the breakdown of relations between the DA and the ACDP in the multiparty government running Cape Town.
At the end of May former deputy executive mayor of Cape Town Grant Haskin of the ACDP was ousted by the DA.
The ACDP then announced that it was withdrawing from the multiparty government, which has been in place since 2006.
Media reports indicate that relations between the two parties were clouded by allegations that the ACDP voted against DA leader Helen Zille in the vote for premier.
At yesterday’s meeting, Bergh, who at previous meetings was a flamboyant character and frequently cracked jokes, was downcast.
He ignored giving his usual opening statement and moved straight to confirming the minutes of the previous meeting before addressing the motion of no confidence tabled by the DA, which was the first item on the agenda.
Addressing the meeting, Bergh said the ACDP had already written a letter to the sub council indicating that its councillors who held influential positions would voluntarily resign their positions.
When it became apparent that this letter existed, DA councillor Heather Brenner, earmarked for Bergh’s postion, withdrew the motion of no confidence, but this in turn angered the ANC.
ANC councillor Lydia Anderson-Jardine said the DA had seen that they did not have the numbers in the sub-council to pass the motion of no confidence and had thus chosen to withdraw it, fearing that they would lose if it came to a vote.
Normally there are five DA members in the subcouncil, but only three were present yesterday. The ANC has three councillors, who were all present, there is one Independent Democrat councillor and one from the ACDP, meaning that it would have been possible for the DA to lose a vote.
“I want to express my disgust on this issue. We cannot sit and throw stones at other parties after using them,” said Anderson-Jardine, adding that the way the DA was handling the issue risked creating divisions in the sub-council.
Interviewed after the meeting, Brenner said the DA had brought the motion of no confidence because the DA had to remove the ACDP chairperson.
“They are no longer in our camp. We could not have them sitting in our sub-council. They either have to resign or be removed,” said Brenner.
She said it was important that the DA held key positions of influence across the city as the DA was the majority party and entitled to these positions.
Bergh said his ousting originated in the DA taking the position of deputy mayor of Cape Town, which he said broke the 2006 multi-party agreement.
He said his resignation would be effective on the date of the next sub-council meeting on August 20. — West Cape News