/ 1 April 2008

Invasion councillor faces disciplinary hearing

A Cape Town councillor who allegedly encouraged the invasion of new homes at Delft on the Cape Flats is to go before a disciplinary committee, city speaker Dirk Smit said on Tuesday.

Smit said in a statement that he had completed his own probe into whether the councillor, Frank Martin, had breached the councillors’ code of conduct during the invasion in December last year.

”I have recommended that the matter be taken up by the city’s disciplinary committee, and I have handed the contents of my report on the investigation to this committee for action,” Smit said.

The committee would have to make a recommendation to the full council on any action to be taken.

Martin is a member of the Democratic Alliance, of which city mayor Helen Zille is national leader.

The probe was carried out for Smit by a private company, ENS Forensics, which told him in a report that it appeared from the evidence that Martin did in fact ”incite specific people to take illegal occupation of houses in Delft”.

The investigators said Zille told them she had sent SMS messages to Martin warning him not to do anything illegal.

Martin had breached the code, the report said.

Martin also faces criminal charges over the invasion, which saw several thousand backyard dwellers from the Delft area and elsewhere occupying houses built as part of the N2 Gateway housing project.

Most of the houses were meant for people displaced from a squatter settlement along the N2 which is being razed to make way for formal housing.

The invaders were evicted following a court order against them. Many of them are still living next to roads in the area. – Sapa