Bitou bêtise

The MP ducks; the Mayor lies; the DA is exposed

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Oudtshoorn. 23 July 2012. 14h20. As the Bitou Mayor, Memory Booysen; and his Constituency Chair, Liz Mundell; and the Bitou DA MP, Donald Grant; and the DA Leader for the Western Cape, Theuns Botha; and the DA Leader, Helen Zille all ignored the seven questions OO asked last week – click here – OO approached Booysen at Saturday’s East Region District meeting at Baron’s Palace in Oudtshoorn.

Grant was unavailable to speak to OO. He did find time, however, to speak about school closures to the Oudtshoorn Courant Editor, Hannes Visser.

Consider this: If OO’s reports on the supreme DA mismanagement in Bitou are false, should not Grant be keen to put the record straight!? Especially as the Western Cape DA Leader claims that OO’s reporting is read so widely and are so trusted that it creates huge problems for the party. Yet Grant made no attempt to berate OO for false reporting, or to place the DA’s version of the facts on record.

OO then approached Booysen, the Mayor, during lunch Saterday, and asked why he misrepresented Council’s offer to Grant Easton, the preferred candidate for Municipal Manager; and why the DA Council vacated all charges against the Director Community Services, Monde Stratu.

Booysen denied misrepresenting Council’s offer to Easthouse.

Yet OO has impeccable information that Booysen was mandated to offer as much as R1,012,000 per annum, being the sum of R880,000 with a 15% performance bonus, but offered only what the Bitou consultants, ODS, informally proposed – R835,000.

All offers made to Easton were lower than the remuneration of directors that would report to him in his capacity as Municipal Manager. Easton appears to be well aware of this fact, and also seems to realise that he was fudged as he demanded, on 18 July, that the “In-Committee item C/1/56/06/12 entitled Appointment of Municipal Manager” be made available to him.

There are concerns among unnamed people familiar with events that White candidates are offered less money than Black incumbents. Can this be!?

Whatever… It appears as if Booysen has set the Bitou ratepayers up for a lawsuit it can hardly expect to win.

About the illegal Council Resolution of July 13, to vacate all charges against Stratu, Booysen said that the disciplinary process was flawed from the beginning; that Stratu’s predecessor was responsible for the mismanagement; and that “nobody” could have properly managed the Robberg Waste Disposal Facility – the subject of the second of five charges against Stratu wherein Stratu is charged with “gross dereliction of duty”, having exposed Bitou to a R1m fine by the Department of Environmental Affairs.

The facts are quite simple and quite contrary to Booysen’s blatant lies:

Stratu’s disciplinary process was not flawed. In fact, a parallel process – the chaging of the Director Corporate Services, Carl Mattheus, is continuing in a flagrant disregard of a basic principle and an integral part of lawful disciplinary action in South Africa: Consistency.

Of such prominence is consistency that Item 7 of the Code of Good Practice: Dismissal (Annexure 8) of the Labour Relations Act (66/1995) provides: “Any person who is determining whether a dismissal for misconduct is unfair should consider – if a rule or standard was contravened, whether or not the rule or standard has been consistently applied by the employer.”

The charges against Mattheus are less serious than the charges against Stratu, and Mattheus’s legal representative has already indicated that he will challenge Council’s consistency.

OO has been told that “it will be impossible for any Court to find that Bitou acted consistently in the matters of Mattheus and Stratu”.

Sweeping the Stratu disciplinary action under the carpet of political expediency may therefore cost Bitou’s ratepayers dearly in damages to Mattheus.

That Stratu’s predecessor was responsible for the mismanagement with which Stratu is now charged is another Booysen lie. The 17 April Charge Sheet, under the professional hand of Me Frances Schröter, attorney at law, is clear in this matter.

That the charge relating to the management of the Robberg Waste Disposal Facility is somehow unreasonable for difficulty is a typical ANC excuse!

The charge is in respect of a warning letter dated December 22, 2011. Two more warning letters were subsequently received – on April 26, 2012 and May 7. The question begs why Stratu did nothing for five months between December and May to address the problems!

Booysen lies about the dropping of charges against Stratu and Booysen lies about the offer to Easton.

Only one question remains: Why?

Why does Booysen lie and why did the entire DA Caucus, but one, vote on July 13 to rescind the decision of April 23 – to proceed with disciplinary action against Stratu?

OO, of course, has the answer.

On two occasions, on Friday, June 22, and on Monday, June 25, the DA Caucus lacked a majority for a Special Council Meeting to mandate Mayor Booysen to make Easton an offer for Municipal Manager. On the Friday Councillor Ellaine Paulse was absent, and on the Monday Councillor Johan Brummer.

On the Monday, desperate for a decision on Easton, and unable to trust to the support of the Cope Deputy Mayor, Adam van Rhyner, Booysen made a deal with the ANC to have the DA’s preferred candidate for MM confirmed.

No doubt the vacation of charges against ANC cadre Monde Stratu was the political Vaseline that lubricated the congress.

But because OO regards Memory Booysen to be an ANC Mayor dressed up in a DA T-shirt, Booysen also sabotaged the DA’s MM candidate by making Easton an offer he could not accept… and exposing Bitou’s underbelly to an Easton legal scimitar.

Liz Mundell; Donald Grant; Theuns Botha; Helen Zille… What say you about the DA management of Bitou?

I do not trust the DA, as I do not trust the ANC.

The sooner the people of Eden realise that their political destiny lies in the hands of apolitical Councillors with no links to either the DA or the ANC, the sooner this jewel of South Africa will coruscate.

Where will we fing these candidates?

I do not know.

Won’t such candidates split especially the DA vote?

And what, pray, are the benefits of a DA vote?

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4 thoughts on “Bitou bêtise

  1. That’s all a lot of political nonsense and hogwash. A director of Mr. Monde Stratu’s calibre and stature only deserves nothing but appropriate acknowledgement and recognition given his unparalleled administration and management track-record. Nobody alive could have possibly fixed damages (Robberg Waste Disposal Facility) caused over a myriad of decades in just a mere five months since a warning was received. The DA administration in this case is painting an utterly wrong person with a very filthy brush hell-bent on ascertaining that the best candidate for the MM position is cut out of the picture and have their own unqualified candidate appointed to the post. The Mayor Memory Booysen has nothing to hide if the decision to rescind the charges against Mr. Stratu was unanimously arrived at by the entire Bitou Council. Has the OO ever pondered the possibility that this could also be as a result of infighting within the DA? Certain individuals wishing to settle their own political scores and better their political woes in the process dragging the names of innocent ‘eager beaver’ managers whose actions are founded on principles of intergrity, altruism, selflessness, compassion, probity, responsibility and respect like inter alia; Mr. Monde Stratu and Lonwabo Ngoqo to name but a few. Unlike the aforementioned political leaders of Bitou I firmly believe that the forces which truly define you as an individual are your values. Values give meaning and substance to your life and make it worthwhile. Values will predispose you to behave in certain ways, and if you react contrary to these internalised normative principles, you will experience a great measure of discomfort and dissonance and act unduly. Values lie at the heart of compunction, the pricking of the conscience – that sickening feeling when you KNOW you are ashamed of what you have said or done to any other human being. Shakespeare nailed it down in Richard the Third: “My conscience hath a thousand several tongues, and every tongue brings in several tales, and every tale condemns me for a villain”. We need leaders who share the character of Dr. Nelson Rholihlahla Mandela, an example of a true leader. He was motivated by a profound value system, believing intensely in the worth of every human being. “So DA hands off Stratu” we know him very well!!!

  2. Salutes to, “The sooner the people of Eden realise that their political destiny lies in the hands of apolitical Councillors with no links to either the DA or the ANC, the sooner this jewel of South Africa will coruscate.” In Knysna, also, the DA are exactly the opposite of all that they promised to be. It’s politics for politicians…not politics for the public.

  3. OO, I find it exceptionally hypocritical of Anton Bredell, now that Gordhan of the ANC has come out that only 13 of the 273 Municipalities have clear audits, and non of the Metro’s, not even Cape Town, to say that he is working with Kannaland, Bitou, Oudshoorn and Swellendam, where he KNOWINGLY has been turning a blind eye to their corruption and underspending.

    If the SIU can start investigating from the top down, you will see how quickly things fall in place -addeding to that, if the will and COMPETENCE is there of course

    What is more puzzling is Zille’s toleration of this man, with Grant showing himself up too every day !
    SA, wake up, not the DA or ANC is an alternative for SA. The day of the INDEPENDANTS have arrived !

  4. Dis nou ‘n ding. Wat het geword van die “openness and transparency and good governance” wat so hoog aangegee is ‘n jaar gelede?

    Miskien moet OO die vrae na Brummer se kant toe gooi. Hy is ‘n man wat mooi openlik met die pers gepraat het oor die ANC se tekortkominge, miskien sal hy ook so maak as jy hom uitvra oor die DA se mannewales.

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