April: “OO’s manifested intention appears to be to humiliate, degrade and unfairly discrimination against me.”
Nuus met méning!
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Oudtshoorn. 19 April 2012. 08h25. Nou ja toe.
Die uitvoerende burgemeester van die groter Oudtshoorn, Gordon April, het OO en OO se redakteur in die gelykheidshof gedagvaar vir haatspraak en eis vir R50,000 omdat OO na hom verwys as “daai standerd-vierklong van Dysselsdorp”.
Lees gerus die voorbladberig hieroor in die Oudtshoorn Courant.
April sê in sy stukke: “As someone who grew up and received education under the racist apartheid laws of the past, I find the reference to myself as described above offensive and feel that it dehumanises and humiliates me. There is no logical, lawful or legitimate reason for referring to me in this derogatory sense.”
Hy gaan voort:
“The reference to my standard of education reminds me strongly of the apartheid gutter education system of the past and of which I am a product. It conjures up old feelings of being discriminated against on the basis of race, which was one of the corner stones of the apartheid education policy.”
April meen dat die verwysing op haatspraak neerkom en sy menslike waardigheid aantas.
Hy verklaar dat die stelling “cannot in fact amount to bona fide fair and accurate reporting in the public interest or that it serves any other legitimate purpose. It’s sole purpose and Respondents’s manifested intention appears to be to humiliate, degrade and unfairly discrimination against me.”
April meen “that it would be understood by the reasonable reader as an attack on my human dignity as described above. It is clear, I submit that the Respondents treated me unfairly in a way which impairs my fundamental dignity. lt is an historical fact that the apartheid legacy of racially based allocation or denial of resources manifests itself most starkly in the context of basic education. Under apartheid, due to the former regime’s racist policies, I was denied access to proper and adequate education. As opposed to my white counterparts, who received education of the highest quality, I am a product of what has been appropriately described as gufter education. One of the fundamental tenants thereof was the fact that non-whites received education specifically aimed at only equipping them to join the labour force as unskilled workers.
“Any reference hereto, of the kind made by Respondents, serves only to further humiliate and degrade, in the same way as I was humiliated and degraded by the apariheid education policies.
“The word klong has long been used by white people in South Africa to refer to coloured and black peopte in a degrading and dehumanizing way.”
OO happens to disagree with April…
Here is the complete text of OO’s Responding Affidavit before Court:
1. The Complainant’s educational status:
The Complainant’s highest educational qualification was confirmed to me to be grade six, the current equivalent of standard four in the 1980’s.
The Complainant has never, to my knowledge, disputed the fact that his highest educational qualification was, indeed, grade six.
Both the Leader of the Democratic Alliance in the Western Cape, Mr. Theuns Botha, and the Executive Mayor of the Eden District Municipality, Alderman Vernatt van der Westhuizen, informed me during the first half of June 2011 that the Complainant could not be employed by a Municipal Council at a remuneration level commensurate to the earnings package of an Executive Mayor, as the Complainant’s educational status, grade six, was inadequate.
Botha specifically informed me that Van der Westhuizen refused to offer the Complainant employment because of the Complainant’s educational status and that Van der Westhuizen would only employ the Complainant if Botha issued a political instruction to Van der Westhuizen to employ the Complainant – which Botha refused to do.
The matter of the Complainant’s educational status therefore came to bear significantly upon the dénouement of the Oudtshoorn political plot and was reported as a relevant public interest fact.
Had the Complainant an education that qualified him for alternative deployment within Municipal management, the entire political landscape of Oudtshoorn would very probably, even certainly, have been significantly different today. Therefore the Complainant’s educational status became a critically important piece of information that had to be reported.
In the aftermath of the May 18, 2011 General Elections, the Municipal Council of Oudtshoorn was constituted of 11 ANC members; 11 DA members; 1 Cope member; 1 Icosa member; and 1 National People’s Party member.
A coalition was demanded and in the ensuing negotiations the Complainant, being the ANC member for ward 9 and the immediate past Executive Mayor, approached local DA functionaries, of whom I was one, with a view to resign his seat and force a by-election.
The Complainant inveighed that the ANC refused to reinstate him as Executive Mayor and that he would resign his seat and endeavour to have a DA candidate win his vacated seat in return for a DA appointment to parliament.
After arduous effort the Complainant was finally convinced that one has to be elected to parliament and that one can not simply be appointed to Parliament.
The Complainant subsequently altered his quid pro quo to employment in a DA Municipality, commensurate with the earnings of an Executive Mayor.
The posited motivation for this elaborate plan to return the DA to power on a victory in the Complainant’s vacated ward, according to the Complainant at the time, was that the situation within ANC ranks was unbearable (“onuitstaanbaar”, or a word to that effect) and that he simply wanted to be rid of the asperities of local government and party politics and be employed at a remuneration equal to that of an Executive Mayor, and in any town but Oudtshoorn.
The Complainant used words to this effect: “Ek wil net my geld hê vir die volgende vyf jaar.”
It is piteous that the Complainant is embarrassed by his “Apartheid education” and not by his choice not to further his education even as he first became a community leader and a Councillor.
The Complainant had ample opportunity to better his education, being a confidant of a foremost South African politician, Ms Patricia de Lille, the leader of the Independent Democrats and current Mayor of Cape Town, for many years until August 2010.
There are numerous community leaders in Oudtshoorn who overcame “Apartheid education”. Mr. David Piedt, for instance, was recently awarded an honorary doctorate for his contributions to education, the promotion of Afrikaans and his community service.
I submit that opinion formers such as Eusebius McKaiser; Jonathan Jansen; and Rhoda Kadalie regard the current South African education system as being worse than so-called “Apartheid Education” so ignominious to the Complainant.
I submit that the Complainant’s rights are impaired by his choice not to surpass a grade six education. Reporting the fact of his grade six education does not, per se, impair his rights.
To refer to the Complainant’s educational standard as being “standerd vier” is factually correct and in the public interest.
2. The use of the noun “klong”:
“Klong” is the Afrikaans word for young man.
I used the moniker “klong” in exactly the same fashion as University of Stellenbosch Economist, Professor Sampie Terblanche, used the moniker “kortbroek” when he first referred to Mr. Marthinus van Schalkwyk as “Kortbroek” upon Van Schalkwyk accepting the leadership of the then so-called “New National Party”, subsequent to the resignation of his predecessor, former President F W de Klerk.
“Kortbroek” refers to a young Boer General during the Anglo-Boer Wars, when young men were sometimes called upon to perform duties beyond their scope of experience, for lack of an alternative, probably more suited, candidate.
My intention with “klong” was and remains to depict the Complainant as an individual not yet ready to face the demands of a particular political discipline demanding specific skill and experience. Any suggestion that “klong” refers to the Complainant’s race is unconscionable, disingenuous and belligerent.
Clearly the Complainant, unaware even of the well-known procedure to acquire a parliamentary seat, and willing to resign a ward won on the ticket of one political party in favour of an opposition political party within days of winning the ward, was a person called to duties he was manifestly not qualified for… hence “klong”: An inexperienced man. (Cf. Section 4.)
I was not prepared to use “kortbroek” as it would have been unoriginal. I was also looking for a term that would be understood in the Greater Oudtshoorn, and thought that parvenu; arriviste; or upstart would be lost on my readers.
To refer to the Complainant as “klong” is factually correct and in the public interest.
3. Hailing from Dysselsdorp:
I sincerely hope that the Complainant does not regard my description of him as resident in Dysselsdorp an impairment of his human rights. The Complainant is the elected Council representative of Dysselsdorp and I daresay should be proud to represent the people of Dysselsdorp… or resign his position.
To refer to the Complainant as “van Dysselsdorp” is factually correct and in the public interest.
4. The Complainant’s political legacy:
The Complainant has been the Executive Mayor of the Greater Oudtshoorn since October 2010 and the following statement of the current general state of the Municipality, from a report submitted to the Oudtshoorn Business Chamber on 23 March 2012, indicates his fitness to hold his high office, or not:
– Daar ís nie ‘n ouditkomitee nie. Die laaste ouditkomitee se mandaat het in September 2010 verstryk.
– Die raad hét nie ‘n dienslewerings- en begrotingsimplementeringsplan (Engels: SDBIP) nie. Daar is dus nie spráke dat die korrelasie tussen die geïntegreerde ontwikkelingsplan (Engels:IDP) en die begroting énigsens gemeet kan word nie.
– Nie eens één énkele departement kon sy sleutelprestasie-aanwysers (Engels: KPI) nakom nie;
– Publieke deelname is onmoontlik want daar is géén manier hoe die uitkomstes van openbare voorstelle wat in die IDP vervat is in die begroting gemeet kan word nie.
– Daar is geen bygewerkte IQMS (Integrated Quality Management System) sedert 2008 nie.
– Die onderhoud van infrastruktuur is met meer as R95m agter.
– Van die R2.635 miljard infrastruktuur is slegs 60% steeds diensbaar en R10m p.a. is nodig om dit in stand te hou.
– Daar is nie ‘n organogram goedgekeur nie en alle aanstellings wat nie op gronde van ‘n goedgekeurde organogram gemaak word nie is eenvoudig onwettig en die koste – R1,348,920! – verspil.
– Daar is geen bygewerkte delegasieregister nie.
– Die raad het nie ‘n goedgekeurde bate en laste-register nie en weet dus nie werklik wat Oudtshoorn besit, en wat Oudtshoorn skuld nie.
– Die debiteure-bestuur aan flarde: Daar is R6,481,102 op 60 dae en R57,588,198 wat óuer as 90 dae is!
– 1.9% van die krediteurebalans is ouer as 60 dae en 8.9% is ouer as 90 dae. Tesourie-voorskrif bepaal dat krediteure nie ouer as 30 dae mag wees nie.
– Die begroting is gebasseer op die verhaling van 95% van alle geld wat die raad toekom. Minder as 50% word inderwaarheid verhaal. Minder as 50% van die begrote inkomste realiseer.
– Daar is ‘n R26.1m kontantvloei-tekort.
– R2.2m is nodig om bepaalde paaie oor te doen; R4m om bepaalde paaie te rehabiliteer.
– Kapitaalprojekte is met byna 50% gesnoei. Die raad wil ‘n R40m-lening by ‘n kommersiële bank beding om kapitaalprojekte te finansier. R5m tor R7m per jaar is nodig om die lening te delg… en vóór die lening is daar rééds ‘n R26m kontantvloei-tekort.
– Die raad het nog nie die finansiële jaarstate vir 2008/09; 2009/10; en 2010/11 goedgekeur nie. Die state vir 2010/11 is nog nie eens voltooi nie. Dit beteken dat die 2011/12-begroting opgetrek is sonder inagneming van vorige jaar se finansiële rekords.
– Verskeie ongemagtigde betalings van sowat R1.5m is eenvoudig deur die raad “gemagtig”.
– Die aanstellings van die munisipale bestuurder en die direkteur korporatiewe dienste word in die hooggeregshof betwis.
– ‘n Amptenaar het R150,000 wederregtelik oor ‘n tydperk van 6 maande ontvang om dat die finansiële bestuurstelsels dit nie uitgewys het nie.
– Die lewensomstandighede by Riemvasmaak en in ander gemeenskappe is bedenklik.
– Ten minste vier bedrogsake teen amptenare en raadslede – MAS 35, 36, 37 & 38/8/2011 – word deur die Valke ondersoek.
– Die Spesiale Ondersoekeenheid (SOE) is reeds sedert Februarie 2011 met ‘n omvattende ondersoek na wanadministrasie besig.
– Die begrote omset vir 2012/13 is 7.2% hoër as die vorige jaar; die oorskot is 53% laer.
– Die begrote omset vir 2013/14 is 18.4% hoër as vir 2012/13; die oorskot is 36% laer.
– Kontantreserwes het oor die afgelope 4 jaar met 85.5% verminder.
– The Complainant is currently the subject of a private criminal prosecution, by AfriForum, for theft of Municipal property.
– The appointment, on January 1, of a Municipal Manager and a Director Corporate Services, are being challenged in the High Court in an application supported by the Western Cape Minister of Local Government.
I respectfully submit that it is abundantly clear that the Complainant is indeed not in charge of his province.
5. The Complainant’s attitude towards me and particular sections of the Greater Oudtshoorn Community:
The Complainant has ordered me, an executive member of the Oudtshoorn Ratepayers Organisation and a bona fide journalist, from the Council Chamber’s public gallery on December 1, 2011 and has since banned me from the Municipal buildings altogether.
The Complainant has ordered that no Municipal information be shared with me and that I may not attend any Municipal or Council sessions and events.
On October 7, 2010, the Complainant stood shoulder to shoulder with his fellow Councillor, Jurie Harmse, while Harmse uttered the following words; “Die Boere gaan begrawe word… julle wit boere moet padgee. Ons gaan julle doodmaak vandag.” The Complainant, even in his capacity as Executive Mayor of the Greater Oudtshoorn, to this day has not reproofed Harmse, nor distanced himself from the utterances.
I submit that the Complainant’s charge against me in this Honourable Court is but the furtherance of a personal vendetta, born of frustration and festered by my continual factual reporting of his shortcomings and failures as Executive Mayor.
6. Personal observations:
I have two Honours equivalent degrees – one in Theology; another in Business Management.
Yet I refer to myself as a “filosot” – an Afrikaans contraction of “filosoof” and “sot”, the Afrikaans for “philosopher” and “idiot”.
I refer to my educational standard as that of a graduated ape – as my social media avatar has borne evidence for many years.
I submit that we all involved in politics take ourselves less seriously, and our obligations to our communities most seriously, in the inviolable commitment to selfless service.
7. I respectfully submit that referring to the Complainant as “daai standerd vier-klong van Dysselsdorp” is factually correct and in the public interest at large.
Nota: Lees gerus die voorbladberig in die Oudtshoorn Courant.