“Ander strategie” oor Wessie van der Westhuizen

Burgemeester systap beweerde bedrog

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Oudtshoorn. 4 April 2013. 08h15. Christo Vermaak van die George Herald berig vanoggend dat pogings om die Eden-burgemeester, mnr. Wessie van der Westhuizen, dissiplinêr te vervolg is besig om te faal.

Die distriksraad se speaker, me. Doris Nayler kon verlede week vir die tweede keer nie daarin slaag om die raad se toestemming te kry om ‘n komitee saam te stel wat die omstrede ENS forensiese verslag moet bestudeer en moontlike vervolging instel teen Van der Westhuizen, wie se naam in die verslag aan bewerings van bedrog en vervalsing gekoppel word.

Die ENS-verslag was bedoel om hoogs vertroulik gehanteer te word, maar het die speaker met rooi wange gelaat toe dit uitgelek het aan die media.

Die ANC-koalisie gooi nou wal teen wyse waarop Nayler dié item op die agenda wil afhandel. ANC-hoofsweep, Piet van der Hoven sê hulle ondersteun dissiplinêre ondersoeke indien nodig, maar nie op die wyse wat Nayler die betrokke ondersoek wil doen nie. Nayler hou voet by stuk dat sy nié die ENS forensiese verslag gaan aanheg aan die aanbeveling om voort te gaan met die dissiplinêre ondersoek nie.
“Die verslag is al deur die hele land gelees. Ons moet onthou dat die burgemeester se naam hier ter sprake is en ter wille van sy familie wil ek hom nie verneder nie,” het sy aangevoer as rede dat die verslag nie aangeheg word nie. “Werk volgens die wet en nie volgens wat jou hart sê nie,” het die ANC se Carmicheal Ngalo vir Nayler gewaarsku.

Van der Hoven hou vol dat die verslag gelees is deur mense aan wie dit uitgelek het en nie formeel aan die raad voorgelê is nie. Elke keer as die speaker die item wil hanteer, verskoon die ANC hulself en stel hul bereid om met die hantering van ander items saam te werk ter afhandeling daarvan.

Hulle laat die raad dan sonder ‘n kworum om voort te gaan.

Aanvanklik was een van Van der Westhuizen se mede-DA-raadslede, mnr. Gert Niehaus ook geïmpliseer as ‘n moontlike verdagte in die ENS forensiese verslag. Sy naam het saam met Van der Westhuizen se naam verskyn in die eerste raadsdokumente waarin versoek is dat die ondersoek van stapel gestuur word. Met verlede week se Eden-raadsvergadering was daar nie ‘n teken van Niehaus se naam by bewerings van bedrog en vervalsing nie. Toe navraag daaroor gedoen is, het Nayler gesê sy volg nou ‘n ander strategie.

Die Van der Westhuizen-item sal nou wéér oorstaan na ‘n volgende raadsvergadering.

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13 thoughts on ““Ander strategie” oor Wessie van der Westhuizen

  1. Andrew, I agree with you, but I’m trying to give every benefit of the doubt but nothing seems to help, as you correctly point out, it is all very simple and clear and logical. There can be very little doubt that the DA, or rather Theuns, Winde, Bredell and the Speaker, are deliberately protecting Wessie and are going to do everything they can to avoid holding him to account.

    This to me is very strange for an organisation which stands for openness, transparency, respect for the law and holding their members to ACCOUNT. Under the circumstances one would expect them to hold him to account and kick him out so fast his eyes water, but this is not being done.

    I read an interesting article over the weekend which deals with the effect of an employee on an organisation where that employee’s actions are in conflict with the organisation’s rules, regulations and values. Wessie, and all those involved in the cover-up fit the description of the “toxic employee”…

    “What makes someone a toxic employee?

    A toxic employee is someone who intentionally refrains from adhering to the company rules, regulations and values. It can also refer to someone who is able to do their job but not willing to do it. The cost, time and effort to solve such issues are counter productive.”

    “What damage can a toxic employee do to a company?

    A toxic employee would potentially harm a company’s reputation, results and customer service. Each employee has a responsibility to establish the company’s culture. A toxic employee can negatively affect the moral and productivity of other employees. In many cases these employees do not talk to their manager about their unhappiness but rather to colleagues, who cannot do anything to change the situation.”

    “What happens when a toxic employee is in a managerial position?

    This is a very difficult situation because the manager’s role is to lead and motivate the team. However, if they are not self-motivated, it will have a big effect on productivity and the manager’s contribution to the team. There is a saying that, ’employees join a company but leave a manager’, and in the case of a toxic manager the effect would be so much larger. When an employee’s conduct is not in line with the rules, regulations or values of the company, it is dealt with as misconduct in accordance with the company’s disciplinary code and policy.”

    Clearly the DA is burdened by a bunch of toxic employee and toxic managers or rather toxic public representative and toxic leaders who do not give a fig for the DA’s avowed rules, regulations, values, culture and policies.

    It seems that the DA finds itself being led down the same slippery slope the ANC travelled, from a culture of service to all people above all else, to a cleptocracy focussed on benefitting a small elite. The toxic employees eventually change the whole culture of the organisation beyond recognition and saving.

    It is becoming more and more apparent that to change the government from ANC to DA would amount to no more than changing from one cleptocracy to another only slightly less advanced cleptocracy. Rearranging the deck chairs on a sinking ship.

  2. Pletty, hierdie aangeleentheid is voor die handliggend ek glo nie ons het ‘n regsopinie nodig om die regsposisie uiteen te sit nie. Die DA is hopeloos en is nou besig met speletjies om die ding rondom Wessie te laat verdwyn.

  3. Oopsie, maybe there is a lawyer out there that can help.

    I may be wrong, but my take on it is this…

    The speaker’s report can certainly be a summary and discussion of the documents and can/should contain a recommendation to the council. However, for the debate to have any value and for the council to apply its mind properly they must surely also have the full text of all the documents as part of the item. After all, one or more of them may understand the documents differently or even pick up something the speaker missed which may have a material effect on the speaker’s recommendation.

    I don’t believe that one could say that by giving the councillors access to the full texts at this stage could be considered to prejudice the outcome or the working of a committee upon which they serve. After all the text will form part of the charge/evidence they must consider.

    To argue that they could be influenced one way or another by the texts makes no sense to me as the council need to be influenced by something in taking their decision, what better than the original documents making the allegations and the documents denying or explaining away the allegations. They must surely weigh the two against each other and on that basis decide how to proceed.

    They are not going to be asked to determine guilt or innocence, but merely decide whether or not council itself must investigate further and make a finding in which the whole of council will be the DC, or to establish a special committee to do the disciplinary obo council and then make a recommendation to council.

    Or alternatively decide not to pursue the matter any further should they find the councillors’ reply trumps the allegations.

    I believe that the legislation couched as it is that the investigation must be done and the reply received before being submitted to council is quite a strong indication that the legislature intends the council to have access to the texts, otherwise the speaker could just as well have brought the issue before the council much earlier.

    Once the matter is before a DC, then all sides give it a go and it is then up to the DC to come to a conclusion as to guilt or innocence based on what emerges in that forum.

    Ja, one would think that the legal adviser and the MM would have advised the speaker. Maybe she is acting on their recommendation.

    I think O!O must please get one of the Learned Ones to give us an opinion.

  4. Pletty, you are right in explaining the process as contemplated by item 13 of the Cod of Conduct for Councillors. The report that must be submitted to Council is the ENS report and nothing else. Definately not an abridged version of the ENS report. This is indeed a cover-up and Wessie is going to get away with this because the Speaker is flouting the law and is compromising the disciplinary process. This is what the DA wants! Why on earth is that DA functionary of a Godfrey Louw the municipal manager not reporting the alledge fraud commited by Wessie to the SAPS?

  5. @pletty as a former councilor this is the procedures we used, just a add on thought

  6. @ Pletty is the report the speaker must table at council not supposed to be a summary of the ENS Report, as by tabling the full ENS Report she would hamper the next stage of the process as per legislation?

    Does a multiparty Disciplinary Committee not deal with the full report and the two councilors responses?

    Certainly the legal advisor or MM would know how the processes work?

    Is it not the function and purpose of this DC to then hear counter arguments from the two councillors and come to a conclusion that is then sent to the MEC?

  7. Oopsie set me to thinking and wondering about the weirdness of the Wessie debacle.

    The DA sliding headlong down the slippery side-slope of the Eden moral high ground while apparently the ANC tries to cling on desperately and even seems to want to edge up slightly.

    Why does the ANC keep on walking out allowing Wessie and Niehaus to dodge the bullet every time they do so? The excuse – the ENS report does not form part of the agenda. So what the hell. Just get on with it. But there must be something to this.

    As the saying goes, “When all else fails, refer to the instructions.”

    I did just that and a light has gone on for me.

    Item 13 of schedule 1 of the Municipal Systems Act, Code of Conduct for Councillors contains the relevant instructions.

    Duty of chairpersons of municipal councils

    13. (1) If the chairperson of a municipal council, on reasonable suspicion, is of the opinion that a provision of this Code has been breached, the chairperson must—
    (a) authorise an investigation of the facts and circumstances of the alleged breach;

    This obviously happened some time ago already and the product of the investigation into the facts and circumstances by the biggest law firm in Africa, ENS, was the product thereof.

    (b) give the councillor a reasonable opportunity to reply in writing regarding the alleged breach; and

    This was also apparently done and the product was a written submission by Wessie (and Niehaus, I presume) to the Speaker.

    At this point the process and procedure is spot-on. The next step for the speaker is…

    (c) report the matter to a meeting of the municipal council after paragraphs (a) and (b) have been complied with.

    This now seems to be the sticking point that the speaker just cannot manage to overcome. She is trying to present a report.

    I am going to digress just a little bit to state the obvious which is not specifically spelt out in the legislation.

    The speaker’s report to council is obviously to allow the council to be fully informed of all the “facts and circumstances” and to weigh these against the councillors’ reply to the ENS report.

    Council must then apply its collective mind to what is before them and once having debated the issue thoroughly to take a decision by majority vote.

    But it seems that they just cannot get to the debate, because the damn ANC keeps walking out!!! Why?

    Well, it appears that the Speaker’s report does not include the two most critical documents, the ENS report and the councillors’ replies, without which the council cannot apply their minds even if the Speaker did manage to muster a quorum.

    If those are indeed the circumstances, the ANC councilors are correct and in fact have a duty to use whatever means at their disposal to force the Speaker to comply with the law. Or are they being unreasonable?

    I believe not. While it may be argued that this legislation does not specifically state that the report and replies received by the Speaker must be submitted to council as part of the speaker’s report, the mere fact that the legislation requires the report to council to occur only AFTER both have been received, common sense dictates that it is the legislator’s intention that the council have these supporting documents at their disposal. How else do they properly apply their minds? It is after all the contents of these documents they are to debate and decide upon.

    Why then is the Speaker not following the simple instructions to the letter?

    I am informed that her reasoning is that she wants to spare Wessie and Niehaus the embarrassment. Noble and sensitive as that may be, the hard fact is that the law simply does not allow for that kind of sensitivity where a councilor is concerned.

    Indeed, the law requires quite plainly that the process be very open and transparent, when it requires:

    (2) A report in terms of subitem (1) (c) is open to the public.

    That must obviously include the ENS report and councillors’ replies. Under the circumstances where the report has long since leaked out and become public knowledge the Speaker’s futile and disruptive attempt to keep it off the agenda is even more illogical and inexplicable.

    (3) The chairperson must report the outcome of the investigation to the MEC for local government in the province concerned.

    Presumably this has been done.

    Under the circumstances where the Eden Speaker has proven to be obstinately unco-operative and derelict in her duty by preventing her council from doing its work, the onus is now on the MEC for Local Government to come to step in and make it possible for the council to do its work.

    He does not necessarily have to act ito of section 106, all he has to do is to pick up the phone and instruct the Speaker to comply with the legislation.

    It looks like a cover-up, it smells like a cover-up, it sounds like a cover-up….

    I believe the ANC councilors are not at fault but are in fact doing what they should do in opposition; ensure openness, transparency and above all ACCOUNTABILITY.

  8. ED, if the Eden functionaries are too pathetic and devicive to act on the ENS Report, can you or Nick report it directly to the Public Protectors then. (Abusing the public purse and code of conduct )If they cant do their job, the public will !!

    Will be interesting to see what these pathetic Cllrs are going to do with Nayler !!

  9. oopsie

    I am going to address the process in a separate article for tomorrow.

  10. Ed can you please explain to me what the processes are once the speaker received the report?

    Reading your other posts I understand that only the disciplinary committee may see full report and that the council only receive a report from the speaker on the report and that council put together a disciplinary committee

  11. Piet is reg, waarom kan die ENS verslag nie aan die volle raad bekend gemaak word nie? Die raadslede moet soos die engelsman se “their mind apply”. Die feit dat die munisipale bestuurder nog nie ‘n kriminele klag teen Wessie gemaak het nie laat baie vrae ontstaan want daars ‘n regsplig op hom om dit te doen. Indien die Eden Raad sou voortgaan met die diddiplinere proses bestaan die moontlikheid dat Wessie op ‘n teginiese punt skotvry daarvan sal kom. Niehaus kan nie nou skielik deel neem aan die bespreking oor ‘n ietem waarin hy geimpliseer word nie. Die ENS veslag staan soos ‘n olifant in daardie raadsaal!

  12. I’m not sure if the DA leadership is blind, or playing blind- but two times in a row now this slippery fellow and the ANC have managec to prevent the speaker from doing his/her work?

    This makes me wonder-if this mayor is not guilty, why would he attempt twice to prevent the disciplinary committee from being formed?

    If I was not guilty I would certainly welcome any comittee to investigate me…..where is the DA leadership who preaches accountable governance on a daily basis?

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