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Oudtshoorn. 20 December 2012. 00h01.
Originally published on JEF
DA Mayor Memory Booysen mentioned at a recent meeting that he was mislead and/or given wrong advice on four or five occasions by his advisors, since he took office in June last year. He said this in illustrating how important advisors are to councilors in the municipal environment, speaking in support of Wayne Craig, the then DA Ward 2 candidate, since elected on December 5.
JEF wonders if one of these instances referred to by the mayor is the small matter of the “arbitration” referral, on advice from his provincial advisors at the time, all nine of them, regarding the Wavelengths’ matter. Or should we rather say, the Wavelengths’ debacle.
Imagine it’s the 2015 Rugby World Cup final and South Africa leads the All Blacks 23 to 22. The All Black kicker is lining up a penalty kick and time is up. Should he kick it over, the All Blacks win; if he misses, the Springboks win. He misses. Just as the whole of South Africa is about to celebrate the victory, the Sprinkbok captain walks to the All Black captain and offers him another shot at goal.
Does this sound ridiculous or farfetched? Yes off course it does, and it will never happen, except in Bitou, where something very similar did in fact happen!
The following facts were overshadowed by all the other blunders and botches JEF (and a few others) already reported:
1. Bitou enters into a grant agreement with Province in terms whereof Province gives Bitou a housing grant of R28m for a housing project in New Horizon.
2. The money is transferred to Bitou.
3. Province evokes the “claw back” clause which means that if they obtain a lesser valuation afterwards they may proceed to claim the difference back from Bitou.
4. They obtain a valuation for R2.4m.
5. Bitou’s then legal adviser discredits this valuation by the highest authority on development valuations in the country.
6. The valuation expert finds amongst other things that the valuation obtained by Province should be the subject of a disciplinary investigation.
7. Province has no claim against Bitou since they blew their one single opportunity to evoke the “claw back” clause.
8. The DA wins the June 2012 election and Memory Booysen becomes Mayor.
9. In an attempt to take away all power from the administration to enable the DA politicians to (illegally) appoint service providers and (illegally) award tenders, they (illegally) transfers all the delegations to the mayor, Memory Booysen.
10. Province now requests Bitou to agree to a second valuation, which will bring about a desktop study of the two conflicting valuations, and then a third and final valuation (without seeing the property). The parties (Bitou and Province) must also agree to abide by this third valuation and accept it as final.
11. Bitou’s attorney at the time refuses to agree thereto.
12. Mayor Memory Booysen however seeks council by his nine advisors from Province who guess what, advises him to agree to this so called “arbitration”.
13. The desktop study comes back in the amount of R4m and Province immediately acts in terms of the claw back clause and claims the difference; R24m.
14. Bitou may not challenge this due to their agreement. The desktop study/ valuation are not worth the paper it’s written on but Province does not mind, they got exactly what they wanted.
15. For the Bitou tax payer, our captain offered the other team a second shot at goal (after the hooter went) and they got it over the second time, so cough up R24m please.
And you all thought that the reason for the sudden loans the municipality is making is for “capital projects”.
Ed: Nice going, ward 2 voters! You’ve chosen well. Or not?