Cllr Minnie Petersen’s election as speaker of the Stellenbosch Municipal Council not only makes her the council’s first female speaker, but also means that three of the top positions in the municipality are now occupied by women: speaker, mayor and municipal manager.
Cllr Donoven Joubert (DA) resigned as speaker of the Stellenbosch Municipal Council on 25 July 2018. His resignation pre-empted a scheduled motion of no confidence in him that was authorised by the DA Federal Executive in May 2018.
Councillor Mienie Petersen (DA, Ward 2 – Groendal, Langrug, La Motte) was elected as the new speaker of the council at an urgent council meeting on 30 July 2018. She is the first female speaker since the establishment of the council in 2000.
Speaker Petersen served as whip to the council before her election as speaker. She has served as a councillor in Stellenbosch since 2011. Prior to entering politics, she served on the Parole Board at the Department of Correctional Services.
Speaker Petersen said that she is honoured and excited about her new position and will dedicate her time to being a speaker with integrity and working with all parties for the benefit of the entire Stellenbosch Municipality. She also thanked speaker Joubert for his service to the council.
“I am thrilled to welcome Councillor Petersen as our first female speaker of the Stellenbosch Municipal Council. She has been an excellent whip for the council and I am confident that she will continue her dedication and service to our residents in her new role as speaker” said Mayor Gesie van Deventer.
Sunday paper Rapport reported that Western Cape DA leader, Bonginkosi Madikazela, asked Joubert in an email to rather take up another position than cause another embarrassing palace revolution in the DA.
Joubert remains the ward councillor for ward 5 in Stellenbosch Municipality and has also become a councillor in the Cape Winelands District Municipality where he replaced Cllr Stephan Louw as a representative of Stellenbosch Municipality. Joubert will also serve on the mayoral committee of the district municipality.
Following Cllr Petersen’s election as the new speaker, a new chief whip had to be elected. Cllr Paul Biscombe (DA) was elected as the new whip for the Stellenbosch Municipal Council.