The ANC council screws Oudtshoorn yet again!
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Oudtshoorn. 27 February 2013. 00h01. Jesse Duarte, ANC NEC member charged with local government oversight, called me at four yesterday afternoon and informed me that the NEC insisted upon the agenda item on former municipal manager Noël Pietersen’s legal cost for tomorrow’s council meeting.
According to Duarte, the municipality had paid Pietersen’s legal cost in the criminal case in which he was exonerated on February 1. (Read the history here.)
Duarte said that the ANC objected to the payment and that the Auditor General was demanding an explanation.
As do the ratepayers of Oudtshoorn, I should add!
It is unimaginable yet tragically true: Noël Pietersen used ratepayer money to pay for his civil suit against his nemesis, local entrepreneur Nic Barrow, and then used ratepayer money to fund his defence against using ratepayer money in the first place!
Only in an ANC South Africa!
And only in a municipality run by idiots.
The regional magistrate who found Pietersen guilty of fraud on 15 February 2012 said twice in his summation that officials had “turned a blind eye to Reverend Pietersen and basically let him understand that he would be supported and helped despite what had been resolved and that nobody would notice if the municipality paid his legal costs.”
The State’s advocate, arguing in Pietersen’s appeal, concluded, almost poetically: “If that was the case, whom did the appellant mislead?”
This conclusion must have hurt as the advocate opened with “It is self evident that an official or employee who institutes an action against other parties may not use his employer’s funds to pay for the legal costs any more than he may furnish his home from those funds.”
But Pietersen’s successful defence was that the payment was made with the full knowledge of the municipality and, specifically, the knowledge of acting CEO Tinus Matthysen, acting director corporate services Thembani Gutas, and mayor, Diane de Jager.
Anger from DA ranks – councillors as well as supporters – about this unspeakable outrage, would be laughable and exceptionally disingenuous… it was the DA council of Diane de Jager which ultimately installed Noël Pietersen as municipal manager of Oudtshoorn; it was the DA council of Diane de Jager who protected Noël Pietersen; it was the DA council of Diane de Jager who defended Noël Pietersen. And the lager was completed by the Oudtshoorn Business Chamber of the day.
Said former mayor Angeline Lekay four years ago to the very day: “Diane de Jager told him, ‘Noelie jy’t niks verkeerd gedoen nie’.” (Click here.)
Where is Anton Bredell, the provincial minister for local government!?
Bredell has an oversight role.
And Bredell does not have the luxury of discretion when outrages such as this present one occurs – he has a legal obligation to act.
It is high time someone charges Bredell with dereliction of duty; with non-compliance!
At least Duarte and the ANC have acted against the latest payment – whether any good, such as the reimbursement of ratepayers, will result remains to be seen.
The DA councillors should, on Thursday, sit with idle hands folded reverently over their craven breasts, silent! Not a word from either side of your yellow Janus faces, DA councillors! Not a word!
By the way, if nothing, ultimately, was amiss with the first payment for legal costs, nothing, probably, is amiss with this second payment… This is the ineluctable result of torpidity: The unacceptable becomes acceptable.
The people of Oudtshoorn have only themselves to blame.
And the people of Oudtshoorn should now finally and ultimately realise that neither the ANC nor the DA should ever again be trusted with the government of Oudtshoorn. Only fools would return either party to power!
DREWAN BAIRD COMMUNICATION – Sensaytional – 076 349 6316
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