Oudtshoorn is not important enough

Newspapers don’t regard Oudtshoorn.
So… It’s all out war in Bitou; JEF replies to Zille on Bitou violence

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Oudtshoorn. 27 February 2012. 10h10. Oudtshoorn, so OO has been told by two Western Cape newspapers – a daily and a weekly – is simply not newsworthy enough for regular stories.

“Give us Plett news”, said a senior editor of one of these publications…

Well.

This morning on RSG a little backwater whose name I cannot even recall got a mention because theft has resulted in no money for salaries this month.

So it seems that a municipality has to first fold before mismanagement, corruption, theft and fraud are noticed.

Shocking!

OO will continue to expose mismanagement in Oudtshoorn, come what may.

Yet, for the moment, let us reflect on the beligerence in Plettenberg Bay, where a war of words is raging. We have to be careful that such hatred and violence do not enter the Oudtshoorn domain.

JEF – the Justice and Equality Front was established “to achieve justice and equality for the people of the Garden Route is to challenge the unlawful actions by way of litigation and thus testing the lawfulness thereof in our country’s Courts and Tribunals”.

To this end an agreement between JEF and THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS (ANC); THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS YOUTH LEAGUE (ANCYL); MILLS & LOMBARD ATTORNEYS (MLA); and NONGOGO NUKU ATTORNEYS (NNA) was entered into.

Here is the latest rap, and here also is the key to the text:

Normal font is the Zille text;
Italic font is the JEF comment;
Bold font is the Bitou comment.

JEF responds to the Statement released by the Premier and DA leader Helen Zille, dated 22 February 2012.

This statement is sadly by far the most disappointing and disheartening one yet in recent times.

DA: Statement by Helen Zille, Democratic Alliance leader, on the municiplaity of Bitou.

I will be requesting a meeting with the Western Cape Police Commissioner, Arno Lamoer, to discuss the problem of politically-motivated violence perpetrated against the DA-governed Bitou municipality after the alleged arson at the council’s head offices in Plettenberg Bay in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Why didn’t Zille request such a meeting when much worse happened during the period when the ANC governed the municipality? Countless houses were burnt down, public and private property was destroyed, many people were seriously injured, and tragically a one year old baby lost its life in the “cross-fire”.

The violence JEF refers to ocurred in 2007. At that time, if I recall correctly HZ was the Mayor of Cape Town and the ANC was in power in the Province. Four high profile ANC members, all ANC cadre deployees to Biotu Municipality at the time, were arrested for arson and malicious damage to property; Putco Mapitiza, George Seitisho, Peter Lobese and Kenny Leluma. The matter has not yet been heard by a court. At the time numerous written appeals were made to the ANC Provincial government to step in and avoid bloodshed but these requests were simply ignored.

This follows the call last year by the ANC’s Southern Cape Regional Secretary, Putco Mapitisa, for all DA-led councils to be made ungovernable.

JEF googled this alleged “call” by Mr. Mapitisa but could not find it. Will Zille please provide proof of this?

The effects of this call were acute in the first few months of the new DA-led Bitou council’s term, with the municipality being forced to get a court interdict to stop the ANC from disrupting council meetings.

As a journalist by profession Zille should know that feeding the public with misleading and false information is a serious offence. She is fully aware of the fact that this interdict was dismissed with costs and that four declaratory orders were granted against the (then) speaker in favour of the ANC councilors and the Municipal Law Enforcement Unit. The Cape High Court found that he (the speaker) was in fact the cause of all the disruptions due to his partisan, unlawful and UNCONSTITUTIONAL conduct. Incorrect, the court did NOT find that. The court further ruled that the speaker fundamentally misunderstood his role as speaker. Moreover, the speaker had to withdraw his ill conceived and frivolous application against the South African Police Force, wherein he falsely accused them of not fulfilling their duties in assisting the speaker in executing his (the speaker’s) commands.

Sunday’s fire was started in the wing where both the mayor and municipal manager’s offices are based. A window was broken and flammable liquid was poured into a ground floor office.

This part of the building was probably targeted due to the highly-flammable dry-wall petitions used in the offices. Extensive damage has been caused to the building, including smoke damage stretching some 50 metres down the corridors.

This is just the latest incident in the continuing trend of political violence in Bitou:

Criminal charges have been laid against local ANC leaders in Qolweni for demolishing shacks belonging to supporters of other parties and forcibly removing people from the area.

This is a blatant lie. JEF was present when the defence attorney asked the accused to which political party they belong and their answers were 2 DA, 2 COPE and 1 ANC. JEF was present when the SABC asked the crowd outside the court to which political party they belong and the answers varied from all political parties, even the IFP! Afterwards some of them presented their DA membership cards and said that they want to return the R50 they allegedly received when they joined the DA.

Nobody, but nobody was ever paid to become a member.

Executive Mayor Memory Booysen has received numerous anonymous phone-calls by people referring to him as a “dog” and threatening to kill him. Mr Booysen currently is forced to wear a bulletproof-vest.

JEF is convinced that this is a complete fabrication. Accusations against the DA, describing in detail exactly how they manipulate the system has yet to be countered or denied by the DA. What accusations and to whom were they made? The statement above seems to be the standard default reply every time they are confronted with hard facts, to which they have no answer. What hard facts? It’s their trusted evading response and plea for sympathy in an attempt to shift the spot light from them. According to a member of the public (Statement? Affidavit?) the manipulation strategy works as follow: The municipality informs National Intelligence (NI) that new threats to the mayor’s life were received. They are fully aware that the standard practice in such a scenario is that NI instructs the local police that there are new threats to the mayor’s life and that they must carefully monitor the situation. The municipality then “inquires” from the local police the status of the safety situation, knowing full well that they will be informed that the latest “intelligence” received from NI is that the situation is extremely dangerous and that there is a real threat to the mayor’s life. So that’s how the ANC did it! Clever…. This is then communicated to the public and the media, with the explanation that the R240 000-00 per month bill for body guards (As far as can be recalled it is around R150k per month) is completely justified and “out of their hands”. The following questions still remain unanswered:

1. Why the mayor’s Security Company was appointed without following the required competitive bidding system at the time he was appointed as mayor?

Three quotes were obtained and a deviation was done strictly according to the requirements of the MFMA. Perhaps an idea to dig up the paperwork on how the 2007 bodyguards for Mvimbi were appointed and paid.

2. Why did the then speaker, Johann Brummer, appoint them when this is expressly prohibited in terms of the law?

They were appointed by Supply Chain management and the deviation was approved by the then MM, Lonwabo Ngoqo.

3. Why hasn’t the municipality since then (in 8 months), advertised the tender in order to rectify their deviation as required by law?

By what law?

4. Why did the mayor attempt to appoint the same security company, again without following due process, in order to protect the entire industrial area when the protest got out of hand, and on the tax payers tab?

Did he really?

Local business leaders have gone on record during a meeting with the council to say that the ANC ward councillor in Qolweni is actively involved in orchestrating the violence.

Recently, security has been stepped up at the home of Deputy Mayor, Adam Van Ryhner, after death threats were received.

Here are the facts:

1. At the meeting one business owner said that he witnessed a black woman carrying two tires to the N2, in broad day light, in full view of everyone, and that this woman arrogantly taunted them (in Afrikaans), by saying that they will now see what will happen to them. He then “identified” the women (to the best of his knowledge) as an ANC councilor and even stated her name (to the best of his capability). When the “more informed” people at the meeting heard this ludicrous accusation, they all chuckled and the meeting immediately moved on to the next topic, without wasting one second on this amusing, yet ridiculous statement.

There is in fact a businessman other than the one who spoke out in the meeting who knows Seyisi well and who saw her. I have also spoken to another witness who identified her and saw her with tyres.

2. However, reporter Janine Oelofse decided to report this “breaking news” to the public. News is news.

The whole object of the rioting was to get in the news.

3. In order to give it a bit more credibility however, the following report appeared in the media “One businessman, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisal, said his workers had identified an ANC councillor carrying tyres to a barricade in the industrial area during last week’s violence”.

Two unrelated sources confirm this.

4. How this “journalist” can still maintain that she is unbiased, and even more puzzling, how any respectable newspaper can still accept and publish her articles, remains a complete mystery.

It is amazing how any of this journalist’s stuff is still published given the vicious and untruthful campaigns waged against her.

5. Death threats against whom again? Please…

It is clear from recent events that the ANC is actively involved in attempting to make the council ungovernable. This campaign aims to use violence and fear to undermine the work of the elected DA-led council. The DA will not be deterred by attempts to stop us from delivering opportunities and better services for all the people where we govern.

I look forward to taking this matter up with Commissioner Lamoer before it spirals out of control and lives are lost.

It is clear that Zille and the DA refuse to accept the naked truth which is staring them in the face, and would rather dismiss it as a political conspiracy, in order to avoid addressing these annoying, but unfortunately for them, real and crucial issues. Why can’t Zille realize that for as long as she dismisses these issues as trivial, they will never disappear?

There’s an old saying in Afrikaans: “‘n benoude kat maak benoude spronge…”

The “naked truth” about the “real and crucial issues” is that the ANC cadres who have lost their meal tickets on the Bitou gravy train lead by Mills are trying everything they possibly can to undermine and destroy the democratically elected government in Bitou in the mistaken belief that they can regain control and restart the gravy train. To achieve their nefarious goals they will stop at nothing and have ruthlessly and cynically exploited the poorest of the poor to do their dirty work.

Make of this what you will – Ed.

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3 thoughts on “Oudtshoorn is not important enough

  1. Another question I’d like the DA in Bitou to answer:

    Why does the Bitou Municipality website show ALL tenders and contracts up to April 2011 and then again from December 2011 but NOTHING for the period in between? Could it be because ALL those contracts/tenders were awarded by way of DEVIATION and are the definition of corruption? Case in point is the matter of the Mayor’s security. Why follow a deviation on that appointment when three quotes were obtained, but more importantly why was the proper procurement policy ignored? Whay were tenders not invited? Following a deviation should ALWAYS be the exception, but for the DA in Bitou, it has become the rule – smacks of corruption, nepotism and tender fraud…

  2. I am not going to spend a lot of time on this response from BITOU (DA) other than to copy and paste a few quotes and then allow the readers to decide who is speaking the truth here. Unfortunately the OO article does not disclose who from Bitou made these responses:

    Quote 1:
    From JEF: The Cape High Court found that he (the speaker) was in fact the cause of all the disruptions due to his partisan, unlawful and UNCONSTITUTIONAL conduct.
    Quote 2:
    The BITOU response: Incorrect, the court did NOT find that.
    Fibally Quote 3:
    From Judge Cloete – paragraph 94 “Having giver careful consideration to the instances of conduct complained of… Brummer’s directions in those instances were ultra vires…I am thus OBLIGED to declare that Brummer’s conduct in these instances was inconsistent with the Constitution.”
    also see paragraph 54 “Brummer’s conduct during the various meetings of the council as outlined above raises serious concerns about his impartiality in his role as speaker”
    Paragraph 58 “…Brummer as the speaker seems to lack the insight… to the conclusion that BRummer was behaving in an impartial manner.”
    Paragraph 88 – here the honourable Judge found that Brummer will most likely continue with this conduct (which not suprsingly he has).

    Funny tthing about FACTS are that they will not change or dissappear just because one denies them.

    I invite readers to read the full judgment here: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZAWCHC/2011/385.html

    Ascertain the facts and ask yourself “Why would Bitou deny the clear facts that was found by the judge in a reported matter, and why would they ONLY deny and not offer an alternative? Have regards to the interdict and counter applications and you will notice that what JEF wrote was exactly what the court found!

  3. Sorry, Mr OO, the ANC is not a signatory to the “agreement” forming JEF. They did NOT sign the document, but Mills happily persists with the fallacy that the ANC is a party to JEF. Check out the signed agreement on the JEF website. DISHONEST is his middle name.

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