Shocking Allegations Against the DA!
Oudtshoorn. 25 February 2013. 05h15. It happened in May 2007 and thereabouts.
• Violence in Bitou;
• Various cars and assets were damaged or destroyed;
• Lulama Mvimbi was attacked and his car stoned;
• The houses of various prominent members of the ANC and DA were burned down.
The hostility originated in political tension between supporters of the DA and the ANC about the affairs of the Bitou Council.
True to the nature of most political disputes, there was a large reservoir of contentious matters from which the flames of the 2007 dispute were fuelled from time to time. The particular matter which formed the subject of the controversy which featured at the time was alleged corruption in the ranks of the Bitou Council and the Mayor’s office.
The suspicion that members and/or supporters of the DA, in one way or the other, instigated the violence was widely held amongst ANC supporters in the area.
The DA and a certain political grouping known as Qina Mhlali Qina (QMQ) had been working together towards their common stated goals of eradicating corruption, maladministration and undemocratic governance in Plettenberg Bay since early 2007. The parties first signed an agreement in 2007, endorsed by Theuns Botha, then Western Cape DA leader, and Memory Booysen, QMQ leader.
On 28 January 2011 the parties would enter into an alliance, governed by a Memorandum of Understanding signed by Bitou DA constituency chair Liz Mundell and QMQ leader Memory Booysen, with the common goal of unseating the ANC in the Bitou Council in the Local Government Elections.
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A DA councillor, Johan Brummer, emailed a certain local businessman in June 2006 already that, in light of the fact that the criminal investigation of the alleged corruption in the Bitou Council and its Mayor was nowhere near completion, the officials involved “are still going to be with us for a long time unless the people in the township can convince the ANC, by means of civil unrest, to remove them”.
There were various ancillary political sub-groupings either resorting under the broader banner of the above mentioned alliance or in some or the other association with this alliance, one of which became known as the so-called Group of Eighteen whose avowed objective was to render the Bitou municipal area ungovernable.
Attorney Hardy Mills, acting for various Bitou Municipality functionaries, submitted at the time that his clients had been subjected to a concerted and orchestrated campaign aimed at discrediting them and making Bitou ungovernable.
Mills argued that this campaign commenced with protest marches ostensibly under the banner of SANCO.
Upon investigations made by his clients it transpired that SANCO did not have any knowledge of these marches, nor did they sanction any of the marches.
The legitimacy of the organisers was questioned by the responsible officer appointed by the Bitou Council in terms of the Provisions of the Regulation of Gatherings Act of 1993, and lead to a meeting between the Council, the SAPS and the organisers of the marches.
At this meeting it had been resolved that until such time as the organisers can persuade the responsible officer and SAPS of their legitimacy, no further marches would be permitted.
No proof of legitimacy had been provided and the marches ceased.
Another manifestation of this campaign consisted in the unlawful and organised invasion of council land.
These invasions were repelled by Court orders obtained by the Council in the Eastern Circuit Local Division of the High Court of South Africa.
When the unlawful land invasion had been halted, orchestrated stoning of Councillors, Council property and Council personnel flared up again.
Support for these unlawful activities had been drummed up by the organisers on the strength of accusations of a lack of service delivery and of inept and corrupt councillors.
It became clear to the municipal functionaries that the Council was no longer dealing with isolated incidents of violence, unlawfulness and intimidation but with a concerted effort to create a general situation of civil unrest with a view to render governance impossible.
When this group was unmasked as non-SANCO members they started calling themselves the “Concerned Residents’ Association” or the “Anti-Corruption Movement”.
Arising from the acts of violence, assault and intimidation various complaints and charges were laid with the local SAPS.
As for reasons best known to the SAPS these charges and their investigation have not been treated with the requisite degree of seriousness which they warrant despite the then council’s repeated requests that they should be seen as part of an organised campaign to create a situation of civil unrest.
Similarly the office of the public prosecutor has had a very low keyed approach to the problem.
This is best illustrated by the events following upon the unlawful occupation of the Council’s offices on 5 April 2007.
The group of 18 together with a DA Councillor, Johan Brummer, on that day organised a “sit-in” of the Council’s office.
Despite repeated requests by the SAPS to vacate the Council’s premises, the sit-in continued until approximately 18h00 when a final warning to vacate the premises was ignored and the 19 arrested.
The Plettenberg Bay control prosecutor however declined to prosecute on the basis that the occupation of the Council’s offices was lawful by reason of the fact that the Council had during the course of the day provided food and drinks to the occupiers.
Violence erupted again uncontrollably.
It was only after the tragic death of a one year old baby, shot dead in the cross fire, that the violence suddenly ended.
The matter died a silent death.
In December 2011 a bomb was dropped by two of the former leaders of QMQ.
They made a full disclosure of the events that took place in exchange for amnesty and witness protection.
When the Plett investigating officer withdrew from the case due to concerns for his safety, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) assigned George based one Adjudant Jantjies.
With the two (now State witnesses) input, the carefully planned operation was quickly untangled by the Plett detectives.
It was a master plan executed to perfection.
The matter unfolded like a Stephen King novel.
According to the former leaders, Memory Booysen and Johann Brummer took care of the logistics and were fundamental in the planning of the operation. It is unclear whether Booysen and Brummer knew of the extent of the campaign.
The investigation was virtually complete and just before the docket was to be handed to Advocate Chrishenus Van der Vijver SC (legendary for his efficiency and skills in DPP ranks) for prosecution, Jantjies decided to see whether he could establish who funded the whole operation.
Unfortunately for him he succeeded. Theuns Botha and Donald Grant were found to be major donors.
When he requested a statement from Botha, the investigation turned pear shaped.
A senior Western Cape SAPS Commissioner ordered him to hand in his docket, properly sealed, at the Plettenberg Bay Police Station for collection, and to end his investigation.
Jantjies called attorney Mills for assistance. Mills eventually, after much frustration and dead ends, and only with the contribution and intervention of Advocate Van Der Vijver, managed to cancel this order.
Immediately afterwards Jantjies was unilaterally transferred to a different station, and his cell phone and computer access codes changed.
This happened 8 months back.
The docket is currently unaccounted for.
The Western Cape DPP had expressed its horror at the loss and has instigated an investigation into the matter.
Numerous questions remain unanswered.
Who all funded the campaign?
Were the funders aware for what their funding was being utilized for?
Persistent reports insist that Donald Grant, Alan Winde, Theuns Botha and the Plett Rate Payers Association were contributors to the fund. Were these parties aware of the activities their contributions funded?
Equally persistent natter has Botha influenced the withdrawal of the investigation.
One thing is certain: Answers must be had!
O!O WOULD HAVE LOVED TO HAVE SOLICITED THE DA’s COMMENT, BUT THEUNS BOTHA ISSUED A WRITTEN INSTRUCTION ON APRIL 9 LAST YEAR THAT NO DA FUNCTIONARY MAY RESPOND TO O!O. EVEN O!O’s QUESTIONS DURING THE BITOU BY-ELECTION LAST DECEMBER MET WITH THIS INSTRUCTION FROM BOTHA: “DO NOT RESPOND AT ALL!”
Hoe sê Anton Bredell altoos – my hande is afgekap…
This story was first published on JEF
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