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…