The DA has rejected ANC accusations of cronyism in the appointment of Godfrey Louw to a senior position at George Municipality despite his dismissal as Eden municipal manager - NEIL OELOFSE reports
GODFREY Louw was dismissed by Eden District last year after being found guilty of exposing council to wasteful expenditure while not informing of deviations in supply chain management procedures, but has since been employed as acting manager of corporate services in George.
“The DA had no problem in appointing Mr Louw in an acting position - we regard him as one of the best senior municipal officials in the province. He was the victim of a typical ANC witch hunt on officials appointed by the DA,” said Western Cape DA leader Theuns Botha.
“We regard Mr Louw as a huge asset and are very pleased with his appointment at George Municipality. The DA only appoints officials who are fit for purpose, while the ANC only does cadre deployment.”
ANC Southern Cape secretary Putco Mapitiza said Louw’s appointment confirmed accusations of cronyism, nepotism and corruption against the DA. He said the ANC would challenge Louw’s appointment and would “mobilise the community of George against the DA cadre deployment”.
Louw was dismissed by Eden for defending a lawsuit brought by the ANC to have the election of Icosa councillor Faried Stemmet as district mayor declared unlawful, because the DA coalition did not have a quorum to proceed with the vote.
The ANC took Eden to court to have Stemmet’s election declared invalid and won the case with costs, resulting in the municipality having to fork out about R360 000. Stemmet’s election was also rescinded.
Plett attorney Hardy Mills, who chaired the disciplinary hearing, rejected Louw’s defence that he had been placed in a difficult position and said he should have refused to fight the ANC’s application on behalf of Eden District Municipality.
He said the DA coalition members, who were individually sited as respondents, should have acted in their personal capacity and used their own money if they wanted to oppose the ANC application.
“It is, with respect, shocking that taxpayers’ money can be utilised and wasted in this fashion without batting an eyelid,” Mills said.
Garden Route Media