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Bela-Bela veteran DA councillor and business leader, Kobus van der Merwe, smells the roses in Cape Town.
Van der Merwe is perhaps better known as the Afrikaner politician who represented a constituency of mainly African and Coloured voters in the chambers of the Bela-Bela Local Council.
He remained a respected and loved man by local communities across the political spectrum, right from his constituencies of Spa Park/Mountain View, to Mashakhane and Bela-Bela town.
Speaking during an interview from his new Cape Town base on Tuesday 10 April, van der Merwe said he was feeling “fresh”, following years of often chaotic council meetings back in Bela-Bela.
He has been a councillor for 10 years, and also a businessman and employer of note in the town.
In the interview Van der Merwe said he has continued to be in touch with younger politicians in Bela-Bela.
“Yes, I am still in touch with, among others, Mayor Jeremiah Ngobeni, to talk about things,” he said.
He was popular with his constituencies, fighting for the homeless to acquire housing.
Van der Merwe is one of those politicians from the trenches who believes politicians from different parties need not become enemies.
By-elections were expected in due course to replace him, with parties such as BRA, EFF, ANC and DA expected to put up a fierce political battle to snap up Van der Merwe’s uniquely diverse constituency.
18 months ago 12 April 2018