A DA councillor is sullied while the DA Mayor is investigated
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Oudtshoorn. 11 February 2013. 07h00. After revelations in Die Son and The Cape Times that he was fined – some reports even erroneously read “arrested” – for driving without a valid driver’s license, Eden DA Councillor Tertuis Simmers issued this statement today:
To drive without a valid driver’s license is a serious traffic infringement.
A particularly well informed traffic official waited for me outside the Eden municipal building on February 5 and demanded to see my driver’s license.
This incident brought to a head serious negligence on my part: I did not pay the necessary attention and did not rise to my civil responsibility in ensuring that my driver’s license was current.
I hope that the exposure that this issue is given in the media will impress upon especially the youth of Eden, for whom I hold a special concern, the importance of ensuring that their personal affairs are managed well.
I will get a driver’s license as soon as possible and I apologise unconditionally to the people of Eden; my colleagues in the Eden Council; my fellow caucus members; and the DA leadership for my negligence and for any and all discomfort or embarrassment I may have caused.
This incident will at least ensure that I manage my personal affairs with much more circumspection from now on.
I am thankful that the Democratic Alliance Western Cape spokeswoman Liza Albrecht already said in a statement that a valid driver’s license is not a prerequisite for travel claims and allowances. I have lodged no false, or unauthorised travel and accommodation claims and received to unauthorised reimbursements.
I can therefore state without fear of contradiction that I committed no fraud, forgery or uttering; that I did not exceed my authority; that I have not abused my position; that I have not breached any policy or procedure; that I never acted against the best interests of the municipality; that I did not act dishonestly; that I did not interfere in the administration of the municipality and that I did not breach the code of conduct for councillors in my travel and accommodation claims. Such outrages would be inexcusable and cause for immediate termination. The Eden Council, and the DA would never accept such violations.
As a politician I am keenly aware of the higher standard to which I am held and I trust that my fellow councillors also subscribe to such standards and that they too will honour their calling anew.
Then this unfortunate event in my personal life may possibly have a positive outcome.
O!O readers already know that the Eden Mayor, Wessie van der Westhuizen, is being investigated for alleged mismanagement of travel and accommodation claims.
Van der Westhuizen must reply to the speaker, Doris Nayler, today and provide reasons why he should not be charged.