The DA botches Bitou

And the DA arrogates to criticise the ANC!?

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Oudtshoorn. 19 July 2012. 12h00. OO asked the Bitou Mayor, the DA darling Memory Booysen, eleven questions this week.

No reply was received.

Here are the questions:

On July 16 –

1) Is the information that you offered Mr Grant Easton R825,000 pa, for the position of Municipal Manager, instead of Council’s proposed R1,012,000 pa, correct; and if correct, why did you misrepresent Council’s offer?

2) Did Easton make a counter proposal of R1m pa; and did he decline subsequent to your refusal of his counter?

3) Are you currently considering to appoint one of Messrs David Daniels; Cecil Africa; or Allen Paulse as Acting MM while the entire recruitment process is started anew?

4) How do you justify a second, costly recruitment process, when the original effort resulted in the identification of a suitable candidate available at a Council approved package?

And on July 18 –

1) Did you, at any time before June 21, instruct the Acting MM to draft an item advising Council to rescind a decision to institute disciplinary steps against Director Community Services Monde Stratu?

2) If you so instructed the Acting MM, did you act of your own volition, or in consequence of an instruction from any one of more DA Leaders?

3) Did the Council, this Friday last, proceed to rescind its earlier decision to institute disciplinary action against Stratu?

4) If Council did so rescind its earlier decision, was the decision to rescind made in consequence of considering advice from the Acting MM?

5) What, in broad terms, was the advice proffered by the Acting MM?

6) Were there any votes recorded against the motion to rescind, and who were the Councillors, if any, who voted against the motion?

7) Please explain, in but a few words only, how Stratu happened to be assessed the third preferred candidate for MM in a report of June 2012, when disciplinary action was at that time pending against him?

I remind you that I have not had a reply to my questions of Monday.

Here are the facts:

On April 23 the Bitou Council, with the ANC abstaining, voted (Council Resolution C/1/48/04/12) that the Director Community Services, Mode Stratu, be charged with 5 counts of serious misconduct.

The Committee Report of April 18, considered by Council in voting the charges, reads “That all the allegations are deemed serious misconduct”.

Stratu, so OO is reliably informed was suspected of being responsible for R20m in losses to Bitou.

The Director was to appear before an Internal Disciplinary Tribunal on June 21.

On June 15, however, Mayor Booysen, unilaterally, without consulting either Council or his Caucus, approached the Acting Municipal Manager with a view to halt the disciplinary process and vacate the charges.

The date of this approach is significant as one Roy Steele*, of ODS – Organisation Development Services, Council’s advisors, tabled a report dated “June 2012” short listing six candidates for Municipal Manager: Three candidates did not qualify for lack of experience; and Monde Stratu, due to appear on five charges of “serious misconduct” was rated third, after the best candidate and one not qualifying.

No, OO is not making this stuff up!

Last night OO asked Steele to explain himself:

Dear Mr Steele

Please explain, by return email at your soonest convenience, how one Monde Stratu were included on your “June 2012” shortlist of Municipal Manager Candidates for Bitou when Council Resolution C/1/48/4/12, of April 23, approved a misconduct hearing on five “deemed serious misconduct” charges against Stratu.

On June 11 an “informal offer” of R835,000 pa was made to the preferred candidate by ODS.

On June 21 the preferred candidate turns down the informal offer, the amount being nearly 30% lower than his current Local Government remuneration.

On June 25 the DA/COPE Caucus instructed Mayor Booysen to offer R1,012,000 and secure an urgent response.

Booysen offered significantly less; refused the candidate’s counter offer and the Caucus decided against all other candidates as an alternative to the preferred candidate, and to re-advertise the position if the preferred candidate turned down an R1,012,000 offer.

The preferred candidate, who is known to OO and was prepared to have an off the record telephone discussion with OO yesterday, demanded access before our conversation yesterday, in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act 2 of 2000, to the In-Committee Item C/1/56/06/12 dealing with the appointment of a Municipal Manager.

Botched. By the DA.


Well, OO has a particular view and will soon publish it. But for the moment the careers of good and decent and qualified people may be compromised by OO’s analysis and therefore the opinion is withheld at this time.

Back to the Stratu business, which overlaps with the MM appointment fiasco.

On June 18, three days before he was due to appear, and 3 days after the Mayor attempted to intervene, Stratu petitioned the Acting MM to have the charges set aside.

On July 12 – last Thursday, at around 16h30, Mayor Booysen instructed the Acting MM to draft an item for the next day’s Council Meeting, recommending that charges against Stratu be vacated.

The Acting MM, a legal mind with no tolerance for cadre nonsense, prepared a comprehensive advice recommending “That the Municipal Council reaffirms Resolution C/1/48/4/12 taken on 23 April.”

Without the DA Caucus even considering this recommendation, the item was tabled and the decision of April 23, to charge Stratu, rescinded by Resolution C/1/58/07/12. Councillor Paulse (ANC) proposed and Councillor Mbali (DA) seconded the motion and all but one DA Councillor – Johan Brummer, recently “redeployed” to Eden by Theuns Botha and James Selfe for his “destructive influence” in the Bitou Council – requested “that his vote be recorded against the Resolution in view of the fact that he considers the decision unlawful”.

The DA joined the ANC, this Friday last, July 13, in making an illegal decision to protect a cadre.

Please Helen Zille; please James Selfe; please Theuns Botha; please Anton Bredell; please Donald Grant (Bitou’s DA MP); please Liz Mundell (Bitou’s DA Constituency Chair), please explain yourselves.

It should be a prime privilege to run Bitou – a jewel in South Africa’s chest of breathtaking spots. Also, the national profile of Plettenberg Bay ratepayers makes Bitou a sought after marketing opportunity for “good governance” nation wide and among decision makers and opinion formers. Why botch Bitou, DA!? Why!?

And this DA criticises the ANC!?

Ye gods and faeries!

* The selfsame Roy Steele of the selfsame ODS who installed The Reverend Noël Pietersen in Oudtshoorn in 2007…

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11 thoughts on “The DA botches Bitou

  1. Oh, Oh. Or should I say OO. This is an eye-opener. Nice to see some intelligent debate and constructive comment/advice. One can only hope that the powers that be will not only take note, but will actually heed Wilempie’s good advice. It stands out above the normal uninformed drivel and blind knee-jerk party political and personal point scoring which contributes not one iota to better government which is what I believe this blog propagates.

    In order to get somewhere in this mission one must put the personalities aside unless abslotuly necessary and pertinent to the debate. Our friend Gerhardus “Litigation Division” JEF needs to get over his personal animosities and bitterness and concentrate on the issues that matter. His constant unfounded and often defamatory atteacks on those perceived to be his enemies are puerile, boring and contribute nothing to the debate, Gerhardus, you of all people, as a municipal law specialist, are ideally positioned to make an informed and meaningful contribution. Tell us what the legal position; is based on the facts before you. Suggest what can be done to ensure that the potential losses are minimised and any losses are recovered. That will help the rest of us who do not have the benefit of an education and can only speculate. Enough said.

    I agree with Keelvol that every cent of the money MUST be recovered from the individuals themselves. But how? Who will pay for the litigation which will inevitably arise. Any idea Gerhardus? A bit of unself-serving pro bono from your side for once should help.

    Spot one with the WC boundaries. I think the WC stretches only as far as the eyes can see from the top of Table Mountain but I stand to be corrected.

    Lastly, Drewan, thnks for your unbelievable and fearless efforts towards GOOD CLEAN GOVERNANCE. I say without fear of contradiction that you have done far, far more for that cause than all the “real” politicians. Thanks! Keep it up!

  2. Die beste redevoering wat ek nog OOIT op OO gesien het! Welgedaan Willempie! Miskien sien hulle hierdie in die Kaap….? Het nog altyd gewonder wat daar by julle in Bitou aangaan. Nou weet ek beter dat daar maar sommer niks aangaan behalwe bobbejaanstreke nie! Ek wil ook weet wanner die Bloues van die Kaap uiteindelik gaan kom kyk wat by julle – en op Odn! – aangaan!
    Ek glo , soos jy, dat mense aangestel moet word wat ‘fit for purpose’ is. En die wat nie aan die vereistes voldoen nie, moet nie daar wees nie! Die grootste probleem is egter dat amptenare (en dit lyk my deesdae politici) wat ‘n dissiplinere proses teen hulle het, sommer met ‘n goue handdruk kan wegloop en by die volgende munisipaliteit (of in politici se geval, by die volgende party) inval teen ‘n groter en beter joppie! Dit MOET VERANDER WORD!
    Stem verder met jou saam dat die raadslede wat verantwoorderlik is vir al hierdie vermorsing van belastingbetalers se geld, PERSOONLIK moet opdok vir die kostes. Ons wag daarvoor, want op Odn gaan dit ook lekker met die geld van die belastingbetalers!
    Ek moet egter vir jou slegte nuus gee – die Wes Kaap Provinsie se grense het verander en sluit nou nie meer Kannaland, Bitou en Oudtshoorn in nie…….Of so het ek gehoor, miskien sal ons anders hoor more?

  3. Dankie Willempie… Ek is ‘n groot liefhebber van jou Sout naamgenoot se werk.

    Ek sê ís en inderdáád.

  4. O,O wat ‘n wonnerlike ding is die OO. Lyk my die OO staan vir twee ogies wat oral loer… Vandag eers van hierdie kuberplekkie gehoor toe ‘n Pel bel en se ek moet kyk wat gaan hier in my geweste aan. Toe net mooi die ding wat ek laaaankal voorspel as ons ‘n vleisie op die kole en ‘n brendietjie innie hand staan.

    Nee, kyk, as jy nou ‘n man vat uit die lug uit, en binne twee weke wat hy by jou aansluit maak jy hom die burgemeester kandidaat, dan glo jy of jy gaan nie wen nie, of jy is plein onverskillig en onverantwoordelik. En dan gebeur die onverwagte en jy wen.

    En nou moet jy die mannetjie op wie die blou verf nog nat is die burgemeester maak. ‘n Man met geen track rekord in die party. Bitter min tersaaklike ondervinding benewens dit wat hy onder die ANC vaandel opgedoen het. Wat nou gemaak? Fit For Purpose?

    Wel, ‘n mens maak maar seker dat jy ‘n paar betroubare en kundige mense om die man sit om te onderskraag en leiding te gee.Maar die is maar dun gesaai in die DA in ons ou dorpie. Dan moet jy maar seker sorg dat jy ‘n paar betroubare en bekwame amptenare in plek sit, want die ou ANC skelms sit dik in die administrasie.

    Lyk toe aan die begin of dit wel is wat gaan gebeur. Dinge het goed gelyk. ‘n Paar harde baarde uit die Kaap in die administratiese. Die kaders en hulle meelopers skop en skree maar nie lank nie of die groot kokkedore word gefire of hulle maak “mutual agreements” en kies die hasepad. Dit lyk of dinge onder beheer is en die DA en hulleeffens blou burgemeestertjie hulle kant bring.

    En toe! Vroeg in die nuwe jaar verloor die DA blykbaar heeltemal belangstelling in Plett. Die ou groot dik Hardebaard gaan terug Kaap toe en ‘n mens kan sommer voel die momentum van die hele ding is in sy maai. Waar daar eers gereeld en in detail en eerlik gekomunikeer word, raak dinge al stiller en stiller en instede dat daar vir ons gese word wat gaan aan, goed en sleg, is alles flou en afgewater en later begin die verskoninkies inglip en nou al vir hoe lank niks. Stilte. Hulle praat nie meer. Dis toe ek begin panic hier Maart maand se koers. Daar is iets aan die gang wat hulle nie wil he ons moet weet nie. Die DA retireer stil stil in Plett.

    Hier waar ek en my broers op die kantlyn sit sien ons snaakse goed gebeur. In die burgemeester se kantoor stel hy twee van sy ou dik tjomme uit ANC dae in sy kantoor aan. Verbeel jou, die een man was die ANC se kantoor bestuurder en toe ons weer kyk sit hy lekker met ‘n dik salaris aan die hoof van die sogenaamde DA burgemeester se kantoor. Wat!!!! Waar is die DA leierskap? Waar is Johan Brummer, die man wat al tien jaar vra stem vir my, stem vir ons, ons sal regmaak, ons sal skoonmaak? Waar is Theuns Botha? Waar de hel is Helen Zille??? Waar is daai Grant mannetjie wat weet wat hier aangaan, hy was immers self op die raad.

    Ek kan net tot een slotsom kom, hierdie mense het moed opgegee in Plett. Hulle kannie worry nie. Theuns Botha kan ‘n mens seker nie veel meer van verwag nie, ‘n mens sien hom in elkgeval net so elke paar jaar wanneer hy hier kom woerawarra vir stemme, dan is hy weer weg. Ons weet waar hy staan en wat hy eintlik wil he by ons.

    En nou moet ek hoor die hardegat Brummer het ook opgegee en weggehardloop George toe. Ek wonder wat is die ware rede. Was die vrywillig, of agter die geld aan, of is hy miskien so ‘n ligte stampie gegee soos OO sinspeel? Geredeploy se jy? Maak dit sin om jou beste man uit die span te haal en in die B-liga te laat speel? Nee, man, dit kannie so werk nie.

    Waar is die plaaslike DA leierskap? Nog beter, WIE is hulle nou eintlik? Die raadslid en haar man, die weet ons, die raadslid en sy vrou, die weet ons, die raadslid en sy girlfriend, die weet ons, ‘n paar ou anties en ‘n paar ou omies. Wie nog? Waar is die vergaderings. Dis nou al meer as ‘n jaar na die verkiesing en die DA hou net so elke nou en dan ‘n vergaderinkie en ook nie in al die wyke nie. Wanneer hou hulle weer in Piesang Valley vergadering, of is hulle te bang om hulle gesigte te wys? Daar moet nuwe bloed kom as julle wil oorleef. Enige swaap sal weet ‘n politieke party kan nie net uit die raadsled en hulle families bestaan nie. En julle moet PRAAT met ons. EERLIK praat. REGUIT praat.

    En nou die gemors wat OO van praat. Hoe de hel kan dit toegelaat word om te gebeur. Lyk darem van wat OO skryf dat Brummer nie saamspeel met hierdie ongelooflike stupid besluite en inmenging in die adminstrasie nie. Goed so. Jy gee my bietjie hoop. Dit is miskien in die DANC burgemeester en die ander raadslede se bloed om te beskerm en toe te smeer sonder om eers te dink, maar nie soos ons hom hoor nie.

    Dit wil vir my lyk of hierdie ligte gemorsie van die DA ons dorp ‘n groot klomp geld gaan kos in eise en regskostes. Dit mag nie togelaat word om te gebeur nie. Daar moet gesorg word dat die raadslede wat toesmeer, konkel en so uiters onverantwoordelik optree aan die kaak gestel word en elke sent uit hulle eie sakke betaal.

    OO het die dinge nou aan die groot klok gehang vir die DA leierskap. Julle weet nou wat aangaan mense. Doen iets daaraan. NOU DADELIK. Die mense is nie Fit For Purpose nie, en hulle het dit nou self bewys vir julle. Haal uit en maak skoon en begin met Booysen of dis nag vir julle. Investigative public is reg, voelle van eenderse vere, met die klem op voelle.

  5. Ai ai ou Zeppie, your piece of grammatical art has “lend”you in big trouble china !
    Like Jef, the same goes for you, …..”Eina, eisch ZEP

    Zep and Jef, the new sircus masters in Town -The ZEF &JEF SHOW !!

    Better check YOUR own sources better in future china !

  6. Zep

    Familiarise yourself with basic grammar; then make the rational decision to be quiet.

  7. OO, i hope this article will not lend in jail with this nonsense information. your infor will lend you in jail or will force you to make a public apology check your facts.

  8. Eina, eisch JEF

    Better check YOUR own sources better in future china !

  9. JEF

    My information is from many sources and not from Johan Brummer, mind!

    I wrote from Council documents; not from hearsay reports.

    The invitation stands.

  10. Dear OO, for as long as you rely on information given to you by Johann Brummer, you will forever remain in the dark with half truths and full out lies. We are quite impressed with the quality of the information from your other sources, but dear oh dear, the day you belief (and repeat) this guy’s information you lose all credibility. Ps: we are still waiting for our invitation to a meeting?

  11. Why is Roy Steele still allowed in Bitou and not made a Persona non Grata ?
    For the rest of the ANC/DA ilk, i rest my case – birds of a feather !!!

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