GOOD Statement by Sonia Bentley,
GOOD Oudtshoorn Councillor
24 November 2022
The GOOD Party has submitted a motion of no confidence in the Deputy Mayor of Oudtshoorn who is currently sitting in jail awaiting trial on sex offences.
Although Cllr Mlandeli Nyuka may be innocent until found guilty by a court of law, the criminal charges he is facing are serious and GOOD maintains that it is inappropriate for him to retain the office of Deputy Mayor.
Cllr Nyuka was charged in early October with sexually assaulting an employee in his office and refused bail. While in custody, he has been unable to perform the functions of the Deputy Mayor but also continues to receive his monthly salary.
Cllr Nyuka, of the Suid-Kaap Saamstaan Party, was appointed as Deputy Mayor in June after a DA-led coalition took over Council. Despite the gravity of the situation, they have avoided taking action, because it may lead to the party losing its fragile power in the town.
The position of Deputy Mayor is one of the most senior public representatives of the municipality and residents deserve better than to be represented by someone who is charged with serious sexual, and gender based, violent crimes.
It is shocking that parties in Council have opted to remain silent on the issue – especially when the latest crime statistics showed over 10 000 rapes were reported in just three months in the second quarter of this financial year. Even more so during a time when the annual 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children Campaign kicks off tomorrow on the 25th of November.
These campaigns remain useless if it they are not accompanied by action. As GOOD, we have been encouraging victims to not shut up, but speak up! Now we must ensure that justice follows for anyone who decides to take this step.
In the absence of the Deputy Mayor’s resignation, we believe that it would be in best interests of our Council, the Municipality and the people of Oudtshoorn that Cllr Nyuka is removed from that high office.
The Code of Conduct for Councilors, per the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act, provides the following:
5(b) a Councilor “must at all times act in the best interest of the municipality and in such a way that the credibility and integrity of the municipality are not compromised.”
Coalition politics should never lead parties down a road where they abandon their values and principles in order to cling to power.
Sonia Bentley, GOOD Oudtshoorn Councillor
Janke Tolmay, GOOD Media Manager