Maverick Citizen


Hanover Park residents call for removal of Ward 47 councillor Antonio van der Rheede

Hanover Park residents call for removal of Ward 47 councillor Antonio van der Rheede
At a protest outside the Cape Town Civic Centre on Thursday, Hanover Park residents demanded that Ward 47 councillor Antonio van der Rheede be suspended from his duties with immediate effect. (Photo: Tamsin Metelerkamp)

Protesters from Hanover Park handed over a memorandum to the Office of the Speaker in Cape Town on Thursday, demanding the immediate suspension of Ward 47 councillor Antonio van der Rheede. This comes 10 months after a previous memorandum, listing 19 grievances against the councillor, was delivered to the City of Cape Town.

About 60 residents of Hanover Park gathered outside the Cape Town Civic Centre on Thursday, calling for action to be taken against Ward 47 councillor Antonio van der Rheede.  

Protesters held signs with messages such as “Stop illegal activities in HP”, and “Ward 47 belongs to all of us, not just a chosen few”. The group handed over a memorandum to the office of alderman Felicity Purchase, Speaker for the City of Cape Town, demanding that Van der Rheede be suspended as ward councillor “with immediate effect”. 

“We … demand justice against Hanover Park Ward 47 Councillor and Subcouncil 11 Chairperson, Mr Antonio van der Rheede, pertaining to [his] continuous misconduct, abuse of power [and] dereliction of duty,” stated the memorandum compiled by the Hanover Park Concerned Residents Committee against Crime, Gangsterism and Injustices (the committee).  

In February 2022, the same group handed a memorandum to the City of Cape Town which listed 19 grievances against Van der Rheede. The submission was signed by more than 6,000 community members and supported by more than 20 local nonprofit organisations (NPOs). 

Read more in Daily Maverick: “Frustration rising in Cape Town’s Hanover Park community over ‘hostile’ ward councillor”  

“It’s 10 months down the line, so people get tired. We are here now to finally get the mayor, the chief whip, and in particular, the Speaker, to make a decision … based on what we’ve given them — the 19 grievances, evidence, affidavits,” said Roberto Stemmet, a spokesperson for the committee. 

“We’ve done a lot of paperwork, and we’ve gone the legal routes … on how to present the situation, [but] these are not people that like paperwork — they want action.” 

In February 2022, the Hanover Park Concerned Residents Committee against Crime, Gangsterism and Injustices handed a memorandum to the City of Cape Town listing 19 grievances against Councillor Antonio van der Rheede, according to Roberto Stemmet (pictured), a spokesperson for the committee.

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Among the grievances listed in February’s memorandum were: 

  • The lack of official public meetings held by Van der Rheede;
  • An improper selection process for the Ward 47 ward committee;
  • Van der Rheede’s refusal to work with organisations and individuals who challenged his ideas; and
  • Alleged abuses of power by Van der Rheede.

“Van der Rheede has a habit of abruptly ending relationships [or] partnerships with organisations or individuals who challenge or question his ideas, ideals or actions,” stated the memorandum. “He also punishes people or organisations who associate with people who he has cut off, by cutting them off and excluding them from project support.” 

Shamiela de Villiers, a protester and head of the NPO Reach Out Foundation Youth Development, told Maverick Citizen that Van der Rheede had threatened to remove her from a community project if she spoke with a person he had cut off. 

“He’s forever sidelining us as organisations,” said Avril Andrews, another protester and founder of the Alcardo Andrews Foundation. “This is not right, that one leader breaks [us up] so, and our community is divided because of that.” 

In June 2022, Purchase confirmed to Maverick Citizen that an independent investigator had been appointed to look into the allegations made against Van der Rheede. 

According to Stemmet, the investigator did engage with him and other members of the community, but no final outcome of the investigation was ever provided. 

Maverick Citizen reached out to the City of Cape Town about whether the investigation into Van der Rheede had been completed, and if any action had been taken against him as a result. 

“The above-mentioned complaints and allegations … form part of a preliminary investigation conducted by my office in terms of a possible breach of the Code of Conduct for Councillors,” responded Purchase. 

“Due process is being followed in this matter, in keeping with our complaints procedures and complying with all stipulations in accordance with the applicable legislation and said code.” 

Van der Rheede is the accused in an ongoing court case. The Criminal Procedure Act prohibits Maverick Citizen from disclosing the nature of this case until he has pleaded. 

Van der Rheede stated that he “categorically denies” the allegations against him in the court case. He declined to comment on the 19 grievances brought against him by the Hanover Park Concerned Residents Committee in February. DM/MC


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Jacques Wessels says:

    IRO of the merits, which I clearly can’t express an opinion about, it is great when the public at large hold politicians accountable. Power to HP community

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted


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