Are you paying for the legal adventures?
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Oudtshoorn. 27 August 2012. 06h45. The Honourable Executive Mayor of the Greater Oudtshoorn, Alderman Gordon April, will appear in Court yet again on charges including theft of municipal property on October 3.
Who pays Gordon’s legal bills?
OO wondered and dropped this note to the Mayor’s office manager yesterday:
The Manager: Office of the Executive Mayor
Mr Vuyisa Forplay
Dear Mr Forplay
Legal Bills of the Executive Mayor
Please confirm, or deny, expeditiously and soonest, by return email, that the legal bills of Alderman Gordon April, relating to the following two matters, were paid by the municipality and not by April:
1. Dysselsdorp CAS 131/12/2011; The State v. G April;
2. Equality Court (Western Cape High Court) EC 05/12; Gordon April v. OudtshoornOnline and Drewan Baird.
If the municipality did pay the bills, please provide proof of the duly executed Council Resolutions ito s109 of the LOCAL GOVERNMENT: MUNICIPAL SYSTEMS ACT 32 OF 2000.
OO has information that the ratepayers of Oudtshoorn paid R31,997.00 to defend April against charges of theft from the ratepayers, relating to the Dysselsdorp case. The Mayor must confirm or deny this – hence the letter to Forplay.
The case against April collapsed when the Director of Public Prosecutions declined to prosecute on March 5.
At that time AfriForum, under the energetic local direction of George Kersop, indicated that it will bring a private prosecution against April.
This initiative forced the DPP to reconsider and to announce, on July 9 that the case had been re-opened.
April will appear again on charges of theft and defeating the ends of justice on October 3.
Are you prepared to foot the bill again, dear ratepayer, or will you protest this time?
April will probably argue that a so-called s109A arrangement authorises municipal payment of the legal bills – if, of course, the unthinkable is indeed true: that Gordon did not pay his legal expense personally. OO’s newly confirmed respect for the Honourable Mayor’s ability and education and protocol makes the alternative too ghastly to contemplate.
The LOCAL GOVERNMENT: MUNICIPAL SYSTEMS ACT 32 OF 2000 stipulates at s109A that a municipality may, subject to such terms and conditions as it may determine, provide an employee or councillor of the municipality with legal representation where-
(a) legal proceedings have been instituted against the employee or councillor as a result of any act or omission by the employee or councillor in the exercise of his or her powers or the performance of his or her duties; or
(b) the employee or the councillor has been summoned to attend any inquest or inquiry arising from the exercise of his or her powers or the performance of his or her duties.
So… April would get ratepayers to pay to defend him against charges of theft of ratepayer property!?
Consumate proof, methinks, that the Mayor considers theft to be “in the exercise of his powers or the performance of his duties”!?
Ye gods and faeries!
Surely this can’t be!?