ON Tuesday morning, Bill Nel of the DA responded on social media to the ANC’s retort, saying that the DA statement of February 8 “was based on facts from the forensic report to ensure transparency; the ANC reply of the 9th, true to form, was fragrant with angry political rhetoric and justification for their attempts to conceal the report from the public”.
Bitou citizens understand that the ANC left our municipality effectively bankrupt in 2011 largely as a result of crooked land deals. Our citizens are equally aware that recent staff selections have ensured the reinstatement of the very same officials that were responsible for those deals.
It is not coincidental that our executive mayor was the property manager in 2011 and that he, at that time, worked under the new municipal manager (MM) that he recently reappointed illegally.
This is the same MM that was dismissed after the 2011 property deals. Neither is it coincidental that the MM almost immediately reappointed the town planner of that time in a top position in his own office.
The so-called “Process Plan” (Plan) referred to in the ANC statement came about when the mayor and his ANC partners appointed two sets of attorneys to develop a Plan to deal with the report without informing the DA.
The first word DA councillors heard of this Plan was when they received a copy of it together with the report shortly before the council meeting of January 31.
This meeting was adjourned to February 3 without discussing the Report or Plan except for a recorded proposal by the MM that a separate Special Council meeting be scheduled for February 6 to discuss the report and detail of the plan.
Thus, the DA quite rightly objected to blind acceptance of the plan when the speaker refused to schedule the separate meeting at the council meeting of February 3.
True to the governing coalition’s spirit of secrecy, each copy of the Report and Plan were watermarked with the name of each councillor across every page. Councillors were instructed to hand their copies of these documents to the administration before leaving council chambers.
Thus, we welcome minister Bredell’s decision to release the report to the public.
The ANC press release calls for the DA to declare criminal charges laid against its members with the view to them monitoring these charges. The local DA laid criminal charges at Plett SAPS during December 2016 against an official for fraudulently awarding herself a salary increase and car allowance.
The DA further laid charges with the Directorate of Priority Crime Intelligence in April 2018 that covered most of the criminal charges suggested in the current Report.
Consistent with the history of state capture and the under-resourcing of Western Cape police, these charges have been left by the relevant investigators to gather dust.