April; Mnyimba swing
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Oudtshoorn. 30 July 2012. 06h30. It was plain old garden variety vanilla arrogance that undid Gordon April.
Although Thandekile Mnyimba was cornered since the Western Cape High Court ruled his contract ab initio null and void, April’s superciliousness – how on Earth this little twit can muster haughtiness is beyond belief – also effectively brought an immediate end to any designs the Janitor of Jansenville might have had to retain his berth on the Oudtshoorn Gravy Express.
It happened like this…
On Tuesday last, Advocate Shaheed Patel, Council’s consultant legal advisor, was to brief the ANC Caucus on the merits and probable risk of an appeal against the Paulse verdict.
OO must hasten to point out that any such “advice” by the good Advocate must surely be for the account of the ANC, and not the ratepayers! The new Municipal manager will be formally requested to determine the paying party in this little episode.
Patel did not make an appearance at Tuesday’s Caucus and the briefing was rescheduled for the next day.
Yet on the Wednesday Patel was again absent.
It was subsequently revealed that April ordered the item off the Caucus agenda. April did not want the item discussed, for fear, no doubt, that it might be opposed by one or more Caucus members fearful of the inevitable personal expense of footing the appointment and legal bill should the appeal against the Paulse verdict be dismissed.
In the absence of Patel’s briefing the appeal was never discussed by Caucus and no decision to vote for an appeal was recorded.
Mnyimba, truth be told, at least realised the probably outcome of April’s desperation and left the municipality in a huff.
When Nondumiso Gunguluza and Erik Ngalo abstained on Thursday during the appeal vote, they did, therefore, not do so in breach of a Caucus decision, because there was no caucus decision in the matter, and it follows that the ANC can not discipline them as they are not guilty of any offence.
This point was quite clearly argued by Ngalo and Gunguluza on Sunday afternoon during a meeting of their wards in the Nevada Centre in Bongolethu.
The meeting was hastily organised over the week-end, with pamphlets and broadcast vehicles. Hendrik Ruiters spoke on behalf of the Council – by what authority OO can not determine. Councillor Jeremiah Golliath was also briefly seen, but disappeard at the first indication of audience dissent.
Ruiters’ accused Ngalo and Gunguluza of undermining the ANC and after the meeting was disrupted several times, often threatening to come to violent blows, some bright spark suggested that Ngalo and Gunguluza speak for themselves. They did.
Gunguluza spoke passionately and assured her constituents that she remained a loyal ANC member. She argued that Mnyimba clearly did not qualify to be the MM and that his replacement, Allen Paulse, is a also an ANC member of long and good standing.
Paulse is not a DA appointment, said Gunguluza.
There was no counter argument from any of the Council or opposing ANC functionaries and the meeting was closed without a decision to act against Ngalo and Gunguluza.
OO learned that foremost local ANC members, including Wilton Kawa, Sipho Kroma, and Carmichael Ngalo, publicly declared that Mnyimba was not fit to be MM.
OO was told that April is currently scurrying to avoid the massive legal bill for which the Council holds him personally liable.
It was openly said that April “feels nothing for Mnyimba, he just wants to save his own bacon”… Well, the word was not exactly “bacon”, it was Afrikaans for “cavity”.
In the mean time Amy Sylvester, the quite… pitiable “PA” to the MM, apparently send out an email on Friday assuring all and sundry that her boss will be back Monday – today.
It’s going to be an interesting day!
April is duty bound to give effect to the Council decision and sign a letter appointing Paulse as MM.
If ‘his worship’ fails to act he may face a High Court Interdict, spiking his legal bill; or a no confidence motion; or both. And the poor sod may even face a no confidence motion whether he reifies the Council decision or not!
All up a gum tree is poor Gordon.