The Eden Bribery Case

In one word: Augean*

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Oudtshoorn. 26 March 2012. 09h15.

PART II – Why Theuns Botha can not move to do the right thing

In short: Theuns Botha can only retain the Western Cape DA Leadership, without which he would probably not even be in Zille’s cabinet, mind, if he can secure the ex-ID support within the party.

Subsequent to the April 20, 2011 guilty verdict of Johann Koegelenberg, Henry McCombi and Patrick Murray, the Western Cape DA Leader, Theuns Botha, took the matter in hand – like he took the management of Oudtshoorn in hand on February 19, 2009, when he declared “nou het ek genoeg gehad”, and appointed Gerrit van Rensburg to monitor and veto DA Caucus decisions in Oudtshoorn. See what that kragdadigheid brought us!

The Eden Council was to meet at 11h00 on April 21, 2011, to either accept or reject the committee’s verdict.

According to the George Herald Botha “threatened to take the matter to court should the disciplinary committee members form part of the council decision. He said the same councillors cannot sit in judgment and then also decide whether their judgment is judge. He labeled allegations that he was aware of the alleged bribery attempt ridiculous. ‘Two weeks before the Eden Council election in July 2009, we had already secured the needed vote from the opposition benches’.”

Well, the Eden Council did vote to uphold the guilty verdict, Botha’s conniption notwithstanding.

The matter was duly referred to the Western Cape Minister for Local Government, one Anton Bredell, who did what he does best: Nothing. To this day.

(My hande is afgekap en/of agter my rug vasgemaak en dis vreeslik moeilik en nie so maklik soos mense dink nie en die ANC is nasionaal aan bewind… blah, blah, blah.)

The then Eden acting Municipal Manager, Morné Hoogbaard, laid charges of fraud against the Eden Three with the Hawks in December 2010 already and when Hoogbaard was belatedly removed from office by the new DA Council on June 30, 2011, the complaint was never withdrawn.

A DA investigation indicated that Hoogbaard appointed ANC cadres in Eden for purposes of serving the party during the 2011 elections and that he was to be charged with gross negligence. Clearly Hoogbaard acted openly to favour the ANC at the expense of the DA and still the DA Leadership allowed the complaint of a previous, ANC Council, to prevail and go to trial.

Despite the findings of the probe into his nefarious activities, Hoogbaard left Eden with an unimpugned record and joined that illustrious Local Government management team extraordinaire – Kannaland. One of the Eden Councils so avidly supported by the Western Cape Minister for Local Government.

Why should Bredell have set aside the guilty verdict of the Eden Three and have the criminal charges withdrawn by the DA Council?

For any one or more of the following 14 reasons:

1. The tribunal that found the Eden Three guilty was not properly constituted;
2. The Presiding Officer, Fareed Stemmet, was injured by the alleged bribery;
3. A tribunal member, Carmichael Ngalo, is known to have violently accosted Koegelenberg on April 8, 2010, shouting “fuck you”, complete with middle finger extended, to the man he was now to sit in judgement of;
4. The Council refused to allow the defense access to relevant documents;
5. Counsel for the Three, Christo van der Bergh, called the disciplinary hearing a “trial by ambush”;
6. The defense called for the relevant papers, including affidavits and transcriptions, on November 30, 2010 already;
7. The demand was repeated on January 17, 2011 and the defense was told that the request was too early; charge-sheets were eventually provided on March 9;
8. On March 11 the defense requested a list of witnesses and their affidavits that the Council intended to use;
9. Council denied, on March 18, that such a list of witnesses and their affidavits were not available and that relevant documentation would be provided in a concise bundle;
10. Council adjusted the charge-sheets to eliminate all references to Stemmet, most probably because the defence objected to Stemmet’s presiding presence;
11. With the municipal elections looming, councillors on the tribunal were doubtlessly more concerned with political expediency that so-called justice;
12. Koegelenberg earlier was forced to proceed against Ewerts for a R10,000 loan. This loan was elicited on grounds of penuriousness and granted by a man of impecable integrity and goodwill smeared for his effort by the very man he helped! The money was eventually recovered. Click here for the details. Ewerts had a compelling motive to injure Koegelenberg after Koegelenberg sued him;
13. To the surprise of members of the media, they were invited to attend the proceedings, whereas such hearings were traditionally held in camera. Some powers that be wanted an audience;
14. What kind of bribing sees the opposite outcome of what was intended by the briber!? Ewerts, so the taradiddle goes, was paid to vote for Stemmet, the DA candidate to have been; yet Leon Dorfling became the DA Mayor at the vote!

Why did not Bredell and the DA Leadership act to fix the outrageous guilty verdict of the tribunal, and the irregular Council vote that confirmed the verdict!?

Well, allowing the charges to be withdrawn would land Theuns Botha in a spot of bother he does not want to manage in a Provincial Executive election year.

The DA gained precious little by the “merger” with the Independent Democrats, a party in which Van der Westhuizen was a shining light. In die land van die blindes…

But the merger also means that whomever is elected to the Western Cape DA Leadership in 2012 will only be elected if the ID faction of the “new, improved, larger” DA supports the candidate.

In short: Theuns Botha can only retain the Western Cape DA Leadership, without which he would probably not even be in Zille’s cabinet, mind, if he can secure the ex-ID support within the party.

This support Botha has as long as he looks after Patricia de Lille’s favourite sons and daughters.

Why else would Eden be the dumping ground of ex-ID functionaries?

To have had the charges gainst the Eden Three withdrawn would neccesarily mean that the current Eden DA Mayor, Wessie van der Westhuizen, was wrong in voting guilty in April 2010, when he was still an ID Councillor and the “new DA” poster boy in Oudtshoorn… while an ANC MP informed Van der Westhuizen’s would be DA political bosses that their poster boy was negotiating position with the ANC too!

The inevitable and unanswerable question would be why Botha appointed Van der Westhuizen if Van der Westhuizen’s judgement was so poor as to have voted guilty in error.

Can Botha currently prevail upon van der Westhuizen’s support in the Western Cape Provincial DA elections later this year?

You think?

There is, of course, the possibility that the DA is such an examplary servant of the democratic process that it allowed the charges to continue in order to let justice prevail. There is also a possibility that the 2012 Absa KKNK will be cancelled this week.

Die George Herald het op 15 Maart probeer vasstel hoekom die raadslede steeds in die Eden-raad dien.

Botha het gesê die raadslede is nog nie skuldig bevind nie.

“As ons iemand moet skors vir elke klag wat ingedien word, sal die ANC dit misbruik en dan het ons nie meer raadslede nie. As hulle skuldig is, is hulle weg,” het Botha gesê.

Hy sê hy het ook self na die meriete van die saak gekyk en het goeie rede om te glo dat hulle nie skuldig is nie.

Such zealous commitment to the rule of law is commendable.

But it lacks force.

If the DA is, in fact, fixing to establish itself as the humble servant of Lady Justice, why does not the Federal Executive of the DA insist that Jac Bekker, DA Whip in Eden at the time of the alleged bribery; and Bekker’s political boss, Theuns Botha, Western Cape DA Leader; and Botha’s political boss, Helen Zille, National Leader, be charged before the Federal Judicial Commission?

Does the DA expect the people of Eden to believe that Jac Bekker came up with the bribery plan and instructed Koegelenberg, McCombi and Murray to effect it without checking with his political bosses?

I recall an incident in the Oudtshoorn Council where the DA called for a Caucus to allow the then Mayor, Diane de Jager, to call Cape Town about the seating arrangement in the chamber. I kid you not! The acolytes do nothing without approval and this bribing, if ever it did in fact take place, would have been subject to approval from the brass.

The galling situation is that a DA Council is currently the complainent in a fraud case against three of its own… and Zille, Botha, Bredell, and whomever else is playing in the sandpit are too occupied with mud pie production to see the wood for the trees.

And then there is the audio recording implicating Theuns Botha.

To be continued.

_______________

Oudtshoorn. 24 March 2012. 16h00.

PART I – A filthy business

This is the first in a series of stories over the next week or so about the Eden bribery case currently being heard in the George Regional Court. A number of facts which OO promised in the days subsequent to the May 18 elections last year, yet never published after the political dynamic in Oudtshoorn came a nasty cropper, will be revealed in this series.

This case is a most egregious example of the putridity of politics, what with lethargy, sloth, malice, stupidity, backstabbing and smearing. That ostensibly literate people entrusted with delivering elementary services to residents of municipalities can possibly engage in such vile pursuit speaks volumes for the inefficaciousness of the fools running local governments and their contemptible so-called leaders.

OO first reported the outcome of the disciplinary hearing on April 20 last year.

Here’s is a synopsis of what led to the current court case.

On April 20 last year, 4 weeks before the elections on May 18, three Eden DA Councillors, Johann Koegelenberg, Henry McCombi and Patrick Murray, were found guilty by a tribunal of 5 peers on the charge of fixing to bribe another Councillor, Anthony Ewerts (Icosa, and the self-same chatoyant character who fled the scene of an accident on October 23, 2010) with R20,000, to secure Ewerts’s vote for DA candidates in the election of Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Speaker on July 30, 2009.

The Presiding Officer of the tribunal was the loosing candidate for Mayor on August 30, Adv Fareed Stemmet, who was struck from the roll of advocates on March 1 this year.

One DA Councillor reserved her opinion and the other four, including 2 DA Councillors, voted for a guilty verdict, based on the evidence of one Deon Nomdoe…

Nomdoe entered into a guilty plea with the State on September 1 2010, admitting to buying Ewerts’s vote. In the affidavit Nomdoe states that he held no political office but that leaned towards the DA (“… my simpatie het op daardie stadium by die DA gelê).

Nomdoe was fired by Eden, only to be reappointed to a more senior position by the ANC Council after his plea. He is still in Eden’s employ. The Eden run by Wessie van der Westhuizen.

Deon Nomdoe will be dealt with in a separate story.

But back to one of the DA colleagues of Koegelenberg, McCombi and Murray who voted for a guilty finding in lumine sicco – in the dry light of rational knowledge or thought (yeah, right): Wessie van der Westhuizen, who demands a rather prominent role in this nauseating plot.

The DA’s poster boy for the May 18 elections last year, Van der Westhuizen fixed, against a DA Caucus decision, to have the ANC Adjustment Budget for Eden ratified on February 25, 2011; and voted for a guilty verdict on April 20.

On February 26 last year, after Van der Westhuizen’s budget “gaucherie”, the Western Cape DA Leader, Theuns Botha, threatened to fire Van der Westhuizen. Only the intervention of the DA’s Oudtshoorn Election Executive saved Van der Westhuizen.

On April 20 last year, after Van der Westhuizen’s guilty “gaffe”, Botha was bent on firing Van der Westhuizen and stayed his hand only after the intervention of OO’s editor, yours truly. I convinced Botha that removing the poster boy days before the election was not exactly a cunning plan.

Botha screamed down the line that he would hold back, but, he said, and I confirmed this again last night with a senior DA politician, he would remove Van der Westhuizen on April 19 – the day after the elections.

Eventually reason prevailed. Theuns Botha is nothing if not a pragmatic politician.

I convinced Botha to the horror of several senior local advisors to the EE who wanted Van der Westhuizen out; I convinced Botha to the horror of at least two EE members.

Van der Westhuizen, tears streaming down his cheeks, thanked me profusely, and swore everlasting commitment to the DA… and to me, personally, mind.

Within days of May 18, Theuns Botha appointed Wessie van der Westhuizen Mayor of Eden.

To be continued…

* Augean, adj. Extremely filthy from long neglect. The fifth Labour of Heracles was to clean the Augean stables. This assignment was intended to be both humiliating (rather than impressive, as had the previous labours) and impossible, since the livestock were divinely healthy (immortal) and therefore produced an enormous quantity of ordure. Click here for more on the stables.

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6 thoughts on “The Eden Bribery Case

  1. Nou is die groot vraag natuurlik…….is Wessie werklik sy pos werd as Eden burgermeester?

    Hkgk hoor……

  2. Oom Jac weet meer as wat hy voorgee om te weet en Theuns weet beslis van die omkopery. Laat die saak maar sy loop neem en ons kyk maar wie praat die waarheid. Bredell is totaal ingebreke tov sy verpligtinge as MEC en hy gaan duur daarvoor betaal. Daar is geen rede waarom hy nie al die aangeleentheid oorweeg het nie.

  3. Pragtige analise OO en puik gestel. Politiek is en bly maar altyd uiters VUIL !

    Hier kom n ding…!

  4. Ja, vriend Dinamiet.

    Nou wonder ek net hoekom die DA Koegelenberg se groot invloed in die georganiseerde landbou ignoreer.

    Theuns kan dalk net weer provinsiale leier word, maar van wat? ‘n DA wat deur sy eie voormalige ondersteuners bloedneus geslaan word in Eden?

    Hier kom probleme.

  5. Eina.

    Eina.

    Eina.

    Eina.

    Wat sê jy, Theuns-man?

    Eina.

    OO, ek weet nie waar jy jou insig en jou info kry nie, maar hierdie spyker is haaks op die kop geslaan.

    Eina.

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