DA leadership ousted in Bitou with ANC-majority coalition in control

Plettenberg Bay has a new mayor in Claude Terblanche. On Friday 2 February, during several motions of no confidence tabled in council, Terblanche was voted into office.

Terblanche, up until Friday morning, was the council speaker and his party played a role in the removal of the governing Democratic Alliance-led council.

As Daily Maverick reported on Thursday, Terblanche’s party — the Plett Democratic Congress (PDC) — was in a coalition with the DA and the Active United Front (AUF) to govern the coastal municipality since the conclusion of the 2021 municipal elections. The PDC broke the coalition over claims of a lack of cooperation and communication breakdown from the coalition partners.

Before the motions, Dave Swart (DA) was mayor, Mavis Busakwe (AUF) was deputy mayor and Terblanche was Speaker. Whip Annelise Olivier (DA) completed the municipality’s senior political leadership.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Another DA council under threat as Plettenberg Bay’s Bitou faces three motions of no confidence

In a council meeting that had three caucus breaks before the vote, it came down to voting for Terblanche or ousted mayor Swart DA to become the mayor of the coastal municipality in the Garden Route. In the 13-seat council, Terblanche received seven votes against Swart’s six votes.

In the council chambers, there was huge applause for Terblanche as he was officially confirmed as the new mayor by municipal manager Mbulelo Memani.

In a Facebook post after his ousting from office, Swart said: “I want to thank all who offered messages of support for their confidence in me. I still remain in council as Ward 2 Councillor and will continue to serve the citizens of this ward and other wards where able”.

Other new changes in the council include Nokuzola Kolwapi from the Ikhwezi Political Movement being elected deputy mayor.

Samkele Mangxaba (ANC) was elected council whip and Sandiso Gcabayi (ANC) – the councillor who submitted the motions of no confidence requests – is the new Speaker. DM