Solly Msimanga's Tshwane mayoral team comes with Afrikaner pride built in

Jo'burgs mayoral team has some oddball members, but Tshwane's new mayor Solly Msimanga found a few for his team too. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

Jo'burgs mayoral team has some oddball members, but Tshwane's new mayor Solly Msimanga found a few for his team too. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

  After Jo’burgs new mayoral team was found to contain several members with not widely-held beliefs, some more interesting characters have emerged from newly-appointed Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga’s mayoral committee.

  Msimanga announced his team two weeks ago – many of them unknown while others not so much, albeit for the wrong reasons. The Mail & Guardian recently reported that some members of the Jo’burg mayoral committee hold controversial beliefs, including that Bantu education was better than the current system and that Israel is not an apartheid-style state.

But it appears that the Tshwane committee also has members who hold equally dubious views. According to the youngest appointee, the MMC for corporate services Cilliers Brink (29), it couldn’t be denied “that affirmative action is relegating South Africa to mediocrity”.

Brink penned as much in a letter he wrote to the M&G in 2007, quantifying his statement: “It is the legacy of apartheid and Bantu education, which won’t be turned around by appointing people to jobs they can’t do or that others can do better.”

He still holds that the wrongs of the past can’t be redressed through race quotas.
“I really hope that racial and gender imbalances can be redressed by means other than racial quotas …  My problem with quotas as a redress measure is … we have to use the tools of apartheid to apply them, such as distinguishing between black people who are coloured, Indian and African. I’m not sure these distinctions necessarily reflect the realities of disadvantage,” he said in response to questions from the M&G.

Freedom Front Plus (VF) councilor and the new MMC for health and social development, Sakkie Du Plooy, vehemently fought against the construction of a mosque in his constituency in Centurion in Pretoria.

In April he was quoted as saying that Valhalla, an area in Centurion, is a Christian Afrikaner community, and that they don’t have a problem with people moving in but if there is an effort to take over then there will be problems.

He also said that should the plans for the mosque go ahead, residents would begin selling their homes because they wouldn’t be able to bear the noise made by the call for prayer.

But his most startling remarks centred around the “perception that Muslims kill”. “There are perceptions about Isis … Muslims from Valhalla read the same Qur’an as Muslims from Pakistan …,” Du Plooy was quoted saying.

Another article quotes him as saying that his community got along very well with black people.

Du Plooy did not respond when asked whether or not he is anti-Islam and racist.

On the FF Plus website he wrote that there was not much they could do to prevent the construction of the mosque because the DA had already agreed to it.

Little did Du Plooy know that very party that allowed a mosque to be built in a “Christian Afrikaner community” is the one that the VF would be in a coalition with post-elections.

Du Plooy is also a firm advocate for Afrikaner pride. In a comment posted on a website for the NP van Wyk Louw sentrum vir Gemeenskapstudies [centre for community studies] last month, he called Afrikaners filled with guilt “wet chickens” who could not rid themselves of feelings of attrition.

“Duisende Afrikaners is in 2016 skaam om Afrikaner genoem te word en trek hom- en haarself terug in ‘n jammerlike nessie waar wonde gelek word in plaas van om op te staan en te bou, selfversekerd en met trots soos ons voorvaders gedoen het.” [“Thousands of Afrikaners are, in 2016, ashamed to be called Afrikaners and withdraw into sorry little nests where wounds are licked, instead of standing up to build with confidence, as our forefathers did.”]

Meanwhile, the MMC for finance, Mare-Lise Fourie, somewhat controversially, simultaneously served on the board of a company that renders services to the government sector, and as a councillor for the municipality.

  According to Fourie she was elected as a PR councillor in 2004, and was also invited to serve in an advisory capacity on the board of the Infrastructure Finance Corporation Limited (Inca) Capacity Building Fund.

Established in 1996, Inca provides finance and expertise to municipalities, provincial governments and other public sector entities. According to the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission records, Fourie still serves as a board member.

However, Fourie says she declared her participation in the entity to the municipality, and, following her new appointment, has since resigned.

“No remuneration was payable for this but a basic allowance is paid for attending a meeting. The level of involvement with [Inca] was restricted to providing technical expertise at board meetings,” she said.

Fourie has some experience with government. She was city treasurer for Tshwane from 1996 until the first democratic local government elections in December 2000.

She applied for the position of chief financial officer of the new municipality but was unsuccessful.

The Tshwane council’s other members include Darryl Moss, who once told former Tshwane mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa that he was a Luthuli House puppet, Randall Williams, Sheila Senkugube, Mike Mkhari, Mandla Nkomo and Ntsiki Mokhotho.

Athandiwe Saba

Athandiwe Saba

Athandiwe Saba is a multi award-winning journalist who is passionate about data, human interest issues, governance and everything that isn’t on social media. She is an author, an avid reader and trying to find the answer to the perfect balance between investigative journalism, online audiences and the decline in newspaper sales. It’s a rough world and a rewarding profession. Read more from Athandiwe Saba

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