The State of the Town

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Oudtshoorn. 10 January 2013. 06h00. The situation in Oudtshoorn is bleak and exigent.

Whatever happened before 2007 matters little as Oudtshoorn were placed under administration on March 19 2007.

The DA’s deplorable rule until the ANC took control of the council in October 2010 is a matter of record.

And Oudtshoorn is, today, what the malignant ANC council made it since.

Subsequent to the finalization of the SIU report covering 4 years of unimaginable mismanagement ended February 2011, in February 2012 – a year ago already! – criminal activities in the Municipality continued unabated and maladministration worsened, if anything.

Mayor Gordon April does not adhere to council decisions and acts on his own in flagrant disregard of generally accepted governance principles and regulations and legal requirements.

April is currently awaiting trial on charges of theft of municipal property and defeating the ends of justice.

April faces a second criminal charge for using municipal money to fund his criminal defense. 

A senior ANC functionary, Regional Treasurer for the Southern Cape and Klein Karoo Major Sokopo, had been afforded a multi-million rand tender for VAT recovery while even the very recovery rationales are questionable. Only last week law enforcement agents investigated such “recovered” VAT amounts and found same to have been reclaimed in wanton disregard of tax laws. Oudtshoorn is therefore at risk to penalties while the commission paid to Sokopo appears to be irrecoverable.

CEO Deon Lott was reminded in time of Sokopo’s similar guiles in Ventersdorp, a contract the selfsame Lott helped secure for Sokopo!

Decisions on legal activity are made without due process and large amounts are paid to doubtable consultants.

Contracts resolved by council “to be finalised within 14 days” are outstanding since November 2010 (not a typo – November 2010).

Appointments in flagrant disregard of the organogram is rife. It is abundently clear that the unemployed criticising the administration are given jobs with a view to silence them and allow maladminsitration to flourish.

Political functionaries in all but title are serving as directors and senior managers.

Appointments are made with such little application of mind that the High Court ab initio voided the appointment of the municipal manager, Thandekile Mnyimba, some 6 months after he took office.

The Driver’s Licensing Center had been raided by local members of the DPCI on June 22. Licensing fraud is still rife 6 months later and an unqualified “management representative” has been appointed to run the facility where, on December 12, a learner driver, without an instructor in the vehicle, crashed through the adjascent hanger of a provate company causing damage to aircraft and infrastructure of around R4 million… for the ratepayers’ account.

A case of defeating the ends of justice against director community services Ron Lottering, and traffic chief Thembuxolo Tyatya, relating to the DPCI raid, is still outstanding for administrative torpor.

On March 16 negotiations in camera, excluding even, at the time, the Western Cape minister of human settlements, Bonginkosi Madikizela, who happenend to be present in the building, between ANC and ANC alligned councillors and members of third parties, regarding housing developments, were held without any notice or feedback even to opposition councillors and the opposition councillor for the ward discussed.

A CoGTA seconded functionary, Mpho Mogale, was fraudulently paid R9,583.33 per month for his local tenure – in flagrant disregard of the agreement regulating his presence.

The selfsame Mogale authorised payment of R313,267.99 to Attorney Clyde Avontuur while the SIU found Avontuur to have owed the municipality R622,640.39.

R50,000 was allocated to a local Christian project without supply chain adherence.

Such are but a few of the ongoing rogueries.

The councillors are not fixing the problems – hell, the councillors caused the problems, either by action or by lack thereof.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe; ANC NEC member Jesse Duarte; Western Cape premier Helen Zille and her “mediocre white men”, as Noseweek calls them; (acting) SIU head Nomvula Mokhatla; public protector Thuli Madonsela; and president Jacob Zuma are informed about Oudtshoorn’s woes.

The only action against the deluge of mismanagement is by individuals:

Nic Barrow has sued the ANC, Icosa, and NPP councillors in the mismanagement of the Thandekile Mnyimba matter.

Barrow’s indefatigable efforts also resulted in the successful prosecution of a former municipal manager, Noël Pietersen.

Wilton Kawa has charged mayor Gordon April for using municipal funds to pay personal legal costs.

George Kersop used the muscle of Afriforum to have charges reinstated against April for the theft of municipal property.

A very few business leaders are influencing council in ways that hopefully may result in improved management.

But clearly ratepayers generally are not sufficiently concerned to act to install prudent government, or they would already have acted against the council.

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2 thoughts on “The State of the Town

  1. The State of ODN, on track, going down fast !!

    Karolus, well said ! OO, may i suggest you sent this article above as is to Thudi Madonsella, OUR Public Protector , today !

    Hier kom nog groot sports, bankrotskappe, gevangenisstrawwe en dier voege !!

  2. “The only action against the deluge of mismanagement is by individuals:”

    “But clearly ratepayers generally are not sufficiently concerned to act to install prudent government, or they would already have acted against the council.”

    Drewan, these two comments by you say it all in explaining why, not only Oudtshoorn, but our country is in such deep s&%#. People are very quick to complain but very few are willing to become active. If we look at all the major court cases regarding corruption and mismanagement in this wonderful rainbow country of ours – rainbow in this case representing the colour of money in some select pockets – it is interesting to note how many of those cases were brought about by individuals who went to court or laid charges. The corruption is very often not picked up, reported or acted against by the legal and management channels – it is exposed by individuals who take a stand. We only have to look at the attendance of council meetings to get a clear picture of how involved rate payers are – in a full gallery during a council meeting there might be ten rate payers and this is being very otimistic – the rest are people from disadvantaged areas who are eager to find solutions to their problems – I wonder if the general rate payer even has an inkling of how a council meeting progresses?

    Regardless of whether or not I agree with everything you say on O!O, one thing is clear – you are willing to take a stand. There are a few others and to those I take off my hat – if a person sees wrong-doing and is willing to make himself a target he needs to be applauded – whether his/her actions make sense or not.

    Until we reach a stage where the general public puts on the gloves and climbs into the ring we are fighting a losing battle. Those who still believe that all will end well for them as long as they can sit on the sideline are in for a moerse shock. Some people like to use a passage from the Bible which poetically states that the flowers of the veld and the birds of the sky are clothed and cared for without themselves having to do anything because they are being cared for by a loving entity. Guys I have bad news for you – it doesn’t apply to people – that little part is declared null and void (not unlike Mnyimba’s appopintment) by another part in the Good Book which states that “by the sweat of your brow shall you earn your bread”
    In our scenario the sweat on our brows MUST be generated by standing up and saying to the Gordon Aprils, the Lotterings, the Thyatyas and the Humans in all public positions ” We will do everything in our power to lift you out of office and make you pay for lining your pockets with our money.”

    My New Years resolution – “If you piss me off I WILL challenge you – regardless of your position!”

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