Playing god with careers and voters

DA culls Councillors

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Drewan Baird. Oudtshoorn. 28 August 2012. 13h00. I have challenged a senior DA Councillor in Eden – that is to say a Councillor that represents any one of Bitou, Knysna, George, Mossel Bay, Hessequa, Oudtshoorn or Kannaland – about indebtedness to the DA that may result in the termination of membership. We’ll call the Councillor “Ferris”, after the charming troublemaker Ferris Bueller from John Hughes’ film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

I first determined that no debits in favour of the DA appeared on Ferris’ municipal remuneration records.

I then alerted Ferris of Johan Brummer’s cessation of membership in consequence of his alleged indebtedness to the DA. Ferris assured me that no such threat encumbered him.

I then asked Ferris how his payments to the DA were made.

Ferris replied that monthly deductions were made in settlement of his candidate’s fee, and that continued monthly deductions are made for so-called “tithing” – a contractual monthly contribution payable by DA Councillors.

I immediately realised that Ferris was lying because I had earlier determined that no deductions were made in favour of the DA from Ferris’s municipal remuneration.

Ferris then proffered information on the monthly contribution for the upkeep of the DA’s local office in his town. This contributory obligation was also up to date, said Ferris.

I know, however, that this too is a lie; Ferris is in arrears with his contributions towards his local DA office.

On Thursday last, Ferris offered me copies of his remuneration records as proof that the candidate’s fee was paid up and contributions current. Ferris instructed me to call a colleague of his, we’ll call this colleague “Hollister”, after the obsequious Mr Hollister in Gary Marshall’s film Pretty Woman, to collect the documents.

I did call Hollister numerous times without reply.

On Friday, at 16h36, I sms’d Ferris: “Ferris, jy antwoord my nie? Ek kry nie vir Hollister nie. Bel my asb.”

On Saturday, at 19h18, I sms’d: “Ek verstaan nie hoekom jy my nie bel nie en my oproepe ignoreer.”

Ferris replied: “Laat ek môreoggend bel…”

On Sunday, at 09h44, I sms’d: “Ek sit met rekords wat ek wil publiseer maar ek wil eers met jou praat.”

At 17h46: “Ferris?”

On Monday, at 15h01: “Ferris!?”

At 20h10: “Ferris, jou state… dui aan dat jy nie ‘n sent aan die DA betaal het sedert die verkiesing nie; verduidelik asb.”

Ferris called me within seconds of this last message.

A discussion followed and Ferris undertook to show me proof of payment this morning, and an account from the DA indicating that his account was, in fact, in credit by nearly R1,000.00.

I called at 09h20 this morning to set up the promised meeting. Ferris was not available.

At 09h21 I sms’d: “Ferris, laat weet asb hoe laat ek jou kan sien!

At 09h46 I called again and a clearly irritated Ferris demanded to know why he was “targeted”. A short conversation ensued and Ferris told me that he would quickly walk over to the coffee shop where I was, to hand me the promised documents.

I was having coffee with a friend who also happens to be a politician and who told me that I should expect a call from Ferris within a few minutes to tell me people arrived at his office and that he could not immediately come over.

At 10h05 my phone rang. It was Hollisster, calling from Ferris’ phone to tell me that people just walked into Ferris’s office and that Ferris can not immediately come see me and that Ferris will call later.

I leave it to you, my longsuffering readers, to draw your own conclusions.

Also to conclude on the DA’s consistency, or not, in acting against “37 Councillors” currently in arrears of either candidates’ fees, or tithes, or both.

I have determined that there are 12 Councillors in George – I suspect this number include Councillors of both Eden District and George – who are in arrears.

Why is Johan Brummer’s membership terminated; and why the membership of Jemayne Andrews (Cape Town)… and not any other of the “37”?

Explain Helen. I’m not particularly interested in the explanantions of your acolytes. You tell me, and my readers, what the hell is going on here!

And remember, it’s not your place to remove someone voters elected to represent them. Get off your soapbox, Madam Botox.

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