By STAFF REPORTER
The Makana Citizens Front has adopted a code of conduct that includes voters’ right to recall.
During the shutdown protest of 16 June 2021, a promise was made by community activists to Makhanda residents: if you disapprove of our performance as local councillors, fire us.
MCF candidates have signed a code of conduct that reads: “If 100 voters of my constituency (ward voters for ward councillors, all of Makana for PR councillors) sign a well-motivated petition for me to step down, the management committee shall convene a disciplinary committee that provides a fair process, and I will resign my seat if this process supports the community recall petition.”
MCF chairperson, Lungile Mxube said, “No one else contesting the 1 November local elections has a code of conduct like this.”
Mxube said the code of conduct positioned the MCF in the middle ground between a political party and independent candidates. “We give our councillors a lot of autonomy but still have a discipline system. We allow a conscience vote on most issues. Still, if we can wield a deciding vote on anything essential to running the municipality like the budget, our councillors are held to any agreement we reach.”
In late 2018, community organisers collected a petition of 22,000 signatures to recall Council under Section 139 of the Constitution, and nothing happened, Mxube said.
“They then went to court and won the case to dissolve the Makana council early 2020, yet nothing happened because the government appealed the judgement. It is in this context that MCF has committed to listen to the community if they are disappointed in their councillors.”
All MCF candidates are required to abide by the following code of conduct:
“I, the undersigned candidate for Makana Citizens Front, pledge to commit to and abide by the following Code of Conduct, as mandated by our Deed of Foundation and Constitution:
1. I accept disciplinary action by the movement if I behave contrary to its constitution or this code of conduct;
2. I will at all times behave ethically and respect and uphold the rule of law and oath of office;
2.1 I shall refrain from derogatory language,
2.2 I shall refrain from using social media to bring the movement into
2.3 I shall refrain from any form of sexual harassment.
3. Should 100 voters of my constituency (ward voters for ward councillors, all of Makana for PR councillors) sign a well-motivated petition for me to step down, the management committee shall convene a disciplinary committee that provides a fair process, and I will resign my seat if this process supports the community recall petition;
4. I accept that the MCF Management Committee may also initiate a disciplinary process if any elected representative fails to abide by this code of conduct.
5. I will report any attempt at buying my vote or influencing me to act improperly to the MCF management committee and the relevant authorities if any law has been broken;
6. I will not caucus with any political party or other groupings outside of MCF or leak internal discussions or information that we are not making public;
7. I will attempt at all times to arrive at a consensus within MCF but maintain my autonomous right to vote in the interests of my constituency and according to my conscience.
8. I agree to abide by decisions on votes that are essential to the running of the municipality.”