George mayor Melvin Naik pledged to indict his DA party for ending his membership to try and remove him from office over accusations of corruption.
Naik, who had been given until the end of business yesterday to step down by DA George constituency head Geordin Hill-Lewis, remained resistant on Wednesday and said: “If they don’t stop this unconstitutional process against me we will approach the courts for relief.”
Hill-Lewis said: “We have noted the comments made by mayor Melvin Naik. Naik was on Monday given a 48-hour period to resign from his position as mayor, whereafter the party will respond accordingly. Should he refuse to do so, his membership of the DA will cease.”
Naik claimed that the DA’s move against him was “a witch-hunt” and said his issues with the party started when he told them “a fair recruitment process should be followed because I am not in favor of cadre deployment”.
Meanwhile, a year-long investigation by the Good party into accusations of fraud in George claims to have revealed evidence of interference by national and provincial DA leaders in the shortlisting of senior municipal staff.
Good MPL Brett Herron said, “While the DA appears intent on holding its mayor Melvin Naik responsible for incompetence and criminality in the municipality, including for the irregular appointment of senior staff, Good’s investigation has revealed that the DA were themselves trying to irregularly influence the appointment of senior staff in the town.”
The department of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning commented and said: “There was an independent forensic investigation into George Municipality and it came up with very serious conclusions which must now be taken further by the authorities.”
Shadow Local Government MEC Danville Smith said: ”We believe the mayor has got to be held accountable for some of the mess in the municipality, but we don’t agree with him being used as a scapegoat.”
The EFF’s Melikhaya Xego said: “We can’t be drawn to the DA mess of internal politics. All we expect is the accountability of the mayor before the council.”