Independent candidate not coming to the party


In the upcoming municipal election, Ward 61 will see its first independent candidate challenge traditional political parties, caucus politics – and raise the call to establish a separate municipality for the Far South – governed, he says, by people who are intimately in touch with the issues and needs of the area.

On the other hand, ANC candidate Denzil Jehoma suggests that the ward’s housing crisis could be solved by opening up further land, through the ceding of land from national parks.

Ward 61 is shaping up to be a fascinating area to watch in the upcoming elections. It includes Cape Farms, District H (South of Fish Hoek, Capri and Ocean View built-up areas, south-west of Simon’s Town and Glencairn), Castle Rock, Fish Hoek, Glencairn, Misty Cliffs, Ocean View, Scarborough, Simon’s Town and Smitswinkelbaai.

Last week we introduced Simon Liell-Cock as the DA candidate.

This week we meet Johann Kikillus as the first independent candidate to challenge for Ward 61 – and the only independent candidate in the Far South – and we take a look at the ANC’s manifesto.

Mr Kikillus says it’s taken him a long time to decide to take up the cudgels of political life, but that being witness to long-term unhappiness around unresolved issues in the area has forced his hand. If it means he has to give up his position at Soteria Ministries, he will.

Mr Kikillus says the time for caucus politics is over, and that the people who are consistently unheard deserve to have someone unafraid to challenge blanket political decisions and directions.

He says all political parties follow similar rules and that even if there is robust debate in a caucus meeting, unless there is a conscience vote, members of the party have to follow the party line – and vote in favour of the caucus decision – or face termination of their membership.

Conscience votes commonly relate to religious beliefs and can affect matters such as abortion or gender issues.

Veteran politician Ben Turok, former ANC MP, told the False Bay Echo that that all parliamentary democratic systems work on the basis of parties.

“Representatives are elected on the basis of the party and are subject to the whip. If the member breaks discipline by going against the caucus, the party can withdraw the whip – the member can lose their seat or even the constituency. That is the rule. Party discipline is very strong.”

However, he stressed that where the community is strongly unanimous, it is perfectly legitimate for those councillors who are against it to go to the whip and say, “In all conscience, I can’t vote for this”, and ask to absent themselves, and show they agree with popular opinion.

Mr Kikillus says he is inspired by the real-life story – and perseverance – of WilliamWilberforce who first put forward the motion for gradual abolition of the slave trade in 1793. He steadfastly made the same plea for 14 years, a lone voice in the political temperament of those days. Then, on February 23, 1807, Mr Wilberforce saw the turn of the tide – the House of Commons finally voted, 283 votes to 16, in favour of his persistent plea.

Three days before he died in 1833, he learned that the House of Commons had passed a law emancipating all slaves in the British Empire.

“One man’s persistence eventually changed the course of the world. I find that impressive and inspirational,” he says.

Mr Kikillus says the Far South is rife with local expertise and know-how, and that a municipality specifically for the Far South would solve much of the heartache and misallocation of funds.

“Our taxes are being spent on the beautification of the Voortrekker Road Corridor, less than 10 percent of our taxes are being spent on our area. When what we need, desperately, are safe schools for the upcoming generations – and to end the overcrowding which contributes to drop outs. We need functional 24-hour clinics with proper facilities. The number of times I have seen old people queuing out the door and halfway up the street – from 5am, winter or summer… it’s just wrong.

“Ward 61 is one of the most beautiful areas in the world. Its fynbos and natural heritage must be preserved. We need more job creation through tourism. Our children and youth must be uplifted through better education and skills development. Social ills such as drugs, crime and abuse must be properly addressed. Social services must function properly. Unnecessary development must be stopped and roads and infrastructure need a major overhaul,” he says.

“We have the most incredible natural attractions here – and people can’t get to them because of the ongoing traffic situation. And everybody needs a place to call home. Our people need to be heard, their voices matter. They matter,” he says.

“I have a reputation of addressing issues without fear or favour. I have a track record of engaging with MECs and high level officials. I do not tolerate injustice, laziness or corruption. Those who know me know I am unafraid to stand up, to speak out, to ask the uncomfortable questions, to say ‘no’, and to say ‘that is enough’.”

ANC candidate, Mr Jehoma, was born and raised in Ocean View. He has taken Nelson Mandela’s quote that it always seems impossible until it is done, to heart.

He has served the community of Ocean View over the past five years in the Ministers Fraternal and also serves on the Ocean View Civics Association.

“My main commitment is to improving the quality of life of those in the ward who are economically struggling to survive,” he says.

Highlighting overcrowding at schools in Ocean View, he says he would call for an upgrade to schools.

With regards to health, Mr Jehoma wants to ensure the transformation of clinics in the ward to include 24-hour access, more staff, improved infrastructure and security.

He says he would like to establish a development forum in Ocean View and Redhill to promote local economic development and to address economic growth in Ocean View and Redhill with small business development and entrepreneurship, and also provide youth with experience and training in local economic development.

Mr Jehoma says the housing crisis in both Ocean View and Redhill needs immediate intervention. He specified that on the Mountain View Project, dealing with those who are not immediate beneficiaries, opening up further land – through the ceding of land from national parks.

“I plan to deal with the waiting lists, and ensure further development and bring hope to those living in the flats, of a better future.”

Mr Jehoma believes working with the youth is vital, to ensure development opportunities, skills development and internships for them. He acknowledges the negative affect of crime and drug abuse in the community and feels that strengthening the community police forum will help. He says setting up street committees and block committees to co-ordinate the fight against crime and drug abuse is one approach. He says ensuring that neighbourhood watches are effective is part of his plan, and that promoting a safe and healthy environment in all communities in the ward is a priority.

He describes the elderly as the community’s heritage. “I am working to establish an old age club in Redhill, supporting and developing the programme of elderly activities in Ocean View and I want to ensure the capturing of oral history of our people for our future generations,” he says.

“I am here to continue serving the community of Ward 61 and to provide assistance and encourage community involvement in matters of local government.”

Voting stations for Ward 61 will be found at:

* Phoenix Masonic Lodge

* Simon’s Town Town Hall

* Da Gama Park Community Centre

* Kommetjie Primary School

* Ocean View Baptist Church

* Ocean View Civic Centre

* Ocean View Multi-purpose Centre

* Ocean View Secondary School

* African Faith Mission Church

* Red Hill Simon’s Town