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Oudtshoorn. 12 January 2013. 07h15. The outrageous attempts by the Western Cape Cope leader, Vujani Gouws, also Eden mayor Wessie van der Westhuizen’s “political advisor” (ye gods and faeries!) to cajole what effectively would amount to a 14th cheque for himself, has led to a new low in the strained relationship between O!O and the DA.
After conversations with Cope’s Mosiuoa Lekota and Nic Koornhof, the matter was referred to Leonard Ramatlakane.
On 10 January, at 12:43, I wrote Ramatlakane, with copies to all relevant parties in Eden and Bitou.
Nic Koornhof informs me that you are addressing this matter.
The Bitou council meeting this morning does not satisfy the objection to the Vujani Gouws attitude.
Please indicate how Cope intends to avoid similar occurances and how Cope will address Gouws’ petulance.
At 16h10, Theuns Botha, the Western Cape DA “deputy” leader; and the DA constituency head for Eden, copied in the matter, replied:
We had a successful meeting. Thank you
This appeared to me to be an utterly dissatisfying response, and in any event from someone I did not approach for comment. I replied, at 16h26:
Several questions remain:
1) Was deputy mayor van Rhyner instructed by Cope’s national leadership to attend today’s council meeting, or did van Rhyner ignore the provincial leader’s instruction?
2) How can ratepayers be protected from similar future Cope petulance?
3) Will Gouws be disciplined for “unduly influencing a councillor”?
A “successful meeting” does not necessarily mean that ratepayer interests were served.
Your reply, for the record, Mr Ramatlakane, is awaited.
Botha was quick, at 16h29…
My reply is suffice (sic) for your publication.
At 16h32, I wrote Botha:
I will decide what suffices for my publication and your reply is inadequate.
Botha did not apreciate this. At 16h34 he fired:
You don’t deserve further attention.
So wragtag, nè!
This from a man who once said of O!O: “Jou koerant maak oral opslae! Die enigste billike versoek van politici behoort te wees dat die feite korrek weergegee moet word – daarin slaag O!O 100%.”
I replied, quite amused by this time, at 16h48:
Temper, temper, Theuns!
I have no need for attention – I’m not a politician.
I demand information and I can not recall applying to you in this matter. You were copied as a courtesy.
Botha, of course, did not like this, he’s a “minister at politics” no less and with an ego to match. At 20h02 he replied:
Don’t copy me if you’re not prepared to take my reply.
Yeah. Right. As if Theuns Botha and his DA caders ever reply to O!O’s probing questions and severe accusals.
At the height of the Bitou Ward 2 by-election last year the selfsame Botha instructed all DA functionaries not to reply to O!O’s enquiries: “Please do not reply at all.”
I countered, at 20h25:
Reply at will, Theuns, reply at will. You are always most welcome. But pray do not expect me to swallow your falderol.
(Falderol is polite English for what the Apostle Paul accused the Phillipians of being busy with – skubala – the Greek for an Afrikaans drieletterwoordjie of two k’s cuddling an a.)
Botha confessed to me, during a meeting last April in an attempt to restore our earlier cordial relationship, that O!O’s reports result in telephone calls from all over South Africa to question and challenge DA actions, or lack of action.
Also, Botha said, the DA does not want to hear it’s shortcomings over and over again.
The DA’s problem with O!O is the source of much mirth among my advisors and me, or rather, royally, of my advisors and “I”.
The DA can be sure that much more ridicule and exposure are due, starting with its Eden District Municipality; its mayor, Wessie van der Westhuizen; and its constituency head, one Theuns Botha.