/ 18 February 2009

DA councillor found guilty

A City of Cape Town disciplinary committee has found Democratic Alliance councillor Frank Martin guilty of encouraging people to invade homes at Delft in the city.

Committee chairperson Anthea Serritslev said on Tuesday that the body had recommended a one-month suspension without pay, which would go to the full city council for ratification.

The multi-party committee had found him guilty of acting ”in such a way that the credibility and integrity of the municipality has been compromised”.

She said Martin had written and distributed letters in which he ”authorised” residents of the ward he represented to occupy newly built houses in Delft.

The homes were in fact meant for beneficiaries of the controversial N2 Gateway housing project, being run by the national housing department and the provincial government.

The occupation was followed by a mass eviction under the eyes of police, and what authorities claimed was costly damage to the homes by the departing ”squatters”.

Serritslev said the committee took into account that Martin had been under extreme pressure from his community, that the allocation process was seen to be patently unfair, and that Martin had tried unsuccessfully to get information about beneficiaries from state housing developer Thubelisha homes.

Martin said he had no intention of challenging the committee’s decision.

”This whole thing ended up whereby the MEC [provincial minister for housing, Whitey Jacobs] and myself are having monthly meetings, so there’s a positive swing to the advantage of the community,” he said.

”The so-called illegals are the same people they are moving into the [Delft] houses.” — Sapa