Self-serving chaos merchants

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Drewan Baird. Oudtshoorn. 2 June 2013. 16h40. Be certain of one political fact, my longsuffering readers, if you ignore all else: The incidence of political and ideological conversion is so vanishingly small as to be improbable, if not, alas, impossible.

Here’s two more pearls:

No politician does anything for nothing – it’s like physics: no action without reaction.

No politician leaves a seat of power willingly and without a fight unless an alternative of at least some improved benefit, is secured.

No, no, no, no! FW considered the international statesman fame, the avoidance of civil war… he basks still in the benefits of his departure.

ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe and NEC member charged with local government Jesse Duarte is meeting with the local ANC leadership and councillors on Tuesday. The meeting was scheduled on May 23 and ANC councillors Pieter Luiters, Hendrik Ruiters, Jeremy Goliath, Jurie Harmse, and Hendrik Botha knew that it was tickets for them.

The decision to fall on their own swords was easy, because for the piteous fivesome there remains a velleity of hope, albeit false, as it is indeed astonishingly obvious that no possible DA promise in return for their support will be reified by that political arbitrageur, Theuns Botha.

It must have dawned on poor Luiters, the least fatuous of the pentad pillocks, some time during the Speaker’s continued refusal to have council consider a motion to allow a motion of no confidence, that he and his hapless hacks were losing grip on political survival even before the NEC executioners have left Luthuli House. Poor sods.

Luiters went from mayor designate to majorly destitute in two weeks.

Four lost Mayco salaries of some R30,000 per month.

Come on!

They did not know they were to be culled?

The DA on Friday wanted three things and got all three.

Well they got one thing, for certain.

The other two gains may prove to be short-lived.

But be assured, my forbearing readers, that the DA was not after control of Oudtshoorn for the purposes of serving residents better. Control is but a by-product of the main goal achieved. And control is not what the DA really wants, because Oudtshoorn on its management CV is not going to look good in 2014.

But control was inevitable to fix two thorny problems in Eden:

The despicable management record of Wessie van der Westhuizen; and the huge legal bill due after the Nel v. Oudtshoorn Municipality Supreme Court of Appeal verdict.

Control of the Oudtshoorn council is essential in both matters.

It clears the way for Van der Westhuizen to resign in Eden to answer the calling to serve his Oudtshoorn brothers and sisters.

I am going to be sick, give me a moment.

There, the gagging is gone.

I wrote, but did not send, a message to Van der Westhuizen on Thursday:

So, Wessie, die vraag is nou dít: Vertel ek die storie van jou plan om aan Eden te ontsnap voor 10h00 môre, of na 12h00? Weet jou teikens dat hulle politieke kadawers gaan word?

Here’s the proof of my intention:



It’s easy, see: An internal hearing has but one objective: To regulate the continued engagement of the accused by the organisation. If Wessie resignes his Eden office the entire ENS ligte mistykie disappears. Who will lay criminal charges?

O, and Ben van Wyk will willingly move away; more political fodder.

Control of the Oudtshoorn council also clears the way for a council decision to write off all outstanding legal cost in the name of unity and the setting behind of unfortunate past disputes. Such as the DA’s multi-million rand legal adventure  in the name of Nel to get rid of dominee Pietersen.

I am going to be sick, give me a moment.

There, the gagging is gone.

Consider the facts – the facts, mind!

The DA’s East Region Chair, Christelle Vosloo, of Theewaterskloof, was unaware of the expedient coup d’etat in her backyard and only learned of the happening after the event. She’s not enraptured, by all reports.

On his way into Oudtshoorn proper from De Rust on Friday morning, DA Chief Whip Raymond Wildschut knew not even that the DA’s Head of Government Business and the de facto Western Cape party leader, Theuns Botha, was in town – and nothing of the caucus strategy.

Seasoned DA caucus member and sporadic party fodder, former Speaker Pierre Nel, claims only to have been informed late Thursday night of the take-over strategy for the next morning. And Nel is nobody’s fool; he’s an intelligent man deserving of a much better deal than which the DA affords, and he knows Wessie’s escape route was secured on Friday.

Yet the ANC’s regional and provincial leadership, however, knew some five weeks ago of the smouldering plans of ANC rogues Luiters, Ruiters, Goliath, Harmse, and Botha.

Why did the ANC do nothing to prevent the mutiny!?

I’ll tell you. In a day or two. Let’s wait for Mantashe and Duarte to enlighten us first.

Two major political players strike me as particularly maven in the circumstances: Theuns Botha, and a local ANC functionary who will remain anonymous at this time. One is about to suffer metacarpophalangeal scorching; the other will benefit personally and to the greater benefit of Oudtshoorn.

The ANC played high risk politics with Oudtshoorn; the plan backfired; the DA cleverly took advantage.

So where are we now? How does it stand?

The ANC’s Provincial Executive informed the IEC on Friday night already that Luiters, Ruiters, Goliath, Harmse, and Botha are no longer members of the ANC. The acting municipal manager immediately declared five vacancies – also on Friday night.

The DA aligned vote is now 12 strong, as it was before the mutiny.

The ANC aligned vote is 8 strong, and with 2 proportional members to be announced forthwith, will be 10 strong until the by-elections in wards 5, 6, and 13.

An interesting academic debate is imminent; the implications will translate into something rather practical. More about that later.

The DA got the one thing it wanted above all: a by-election, and three at that.

It’s what the DA wanted.

It’s what every political party who does not govern a marginal council wants.

Excellent practise for next year’s nationals!

O, and Theuns got tremendous coverage.

At the expense of five poor sods who are now jobless.

I am going to be sick, give me a moment.

No, the gagging won’t go.

But, enough for now.

DREWAN BAIRD COMMUNICATIONSensaytional – 076 349 6316
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4 thoughts on “Self-serving chaos merchants

  1. Willempie en jys reg ou Wessie gaan hard gebliksem word op ‘n dag en tyd wanneer hy dit die minste gaan verwag! watch this space my ou maat watch this space!

  2. “It’s easy, see: An internal hearing has but one objective: To regulate the continued engagement of the accused by the organisation. If Wessie resignes his Eden office the entire ENS ligte mistykie disappears. Who will lay criminal charges?”

    Nie so maklik nie my ou maat. Die punt gaan kom wanneer een van die menigde inwoners van die Eden distriks Munisipalitiet, of kwaad genoeg word vir die spulletjie, of plein gatvol genoeg raak om die nodige moet bymekaar te skraap en die ENS verslag na die aanklagkantoor in George vat, ‘n verklaring afle, en vra dat klagtes van bedrog, korrupsie en diefstal ondersoek moet word.

    Dan stort die hele halfgebakte plannetjie in duie.

    Ek ken ‘n man wat groot skade gelei het as gevolg van Wessie en Theuns se gekonkel en wat sit en wag vir die perfekte oomblik wanneer hy op sy swakste is om hom te slaan. Dit is ‘n ideale stok vir hom die. Wakker slaap Wessie. HKK. GK. Ek weet wie dit gaan doen, net nie wanneer nie.

  3. The DA will definately get a klap tomorrow in Court. Who is advising these stupids? And I see that old Wessie is very rammetjie-uit-nek. He thinks he can run away from Eden and from the law. I will be watching him very closely.

  4. If this had been a spat between a bunch of ignorant country bumpkins at the local Jukskei club AGM, it would be hilarious.

    It was not. It was an important meeting of a Municipal Council. An institution of government crated by our Constitution. An institution that has a legal status equal to that of Parliament itself.

    The players in this little drama were not ignorant country bumpkins. They were a group of councillors under the leadership and direction of no less a personage than a Minister in the Provincial Government.

    They belong to the Democratic Alliance and the Minister is a senior office bearer and leader of the party. He also holds the position of Head of Governance in the Province.

    What happened in the Oudtshoorn Council Chamber was a wilfull and unlawful hi-jacking of the council. It resulted in the Council being prevented from carrying out one of the most important functions of a council, namely adopting its budget. In short it was a brutish rape of an institution of government created under our Constitution.

    Not only was the Constitution trodden upon but numerous other laws down to the Council’s Rules and Order by-law.

    The Minster swore an oath of office as follows:

    I swear that I will be faithful to the Republic of South Africa and will obey, respect and uphold the Constitution and all other law of the Republic and I undertake to hold my office as member of the executive council of the Western Province with honour and dignity; to be a true and faithful counsellor; not to divulge directly or indirectly any secret matter entrusted to me, and to perform the functions of my office conscientiously and to the best of my ability.

    The Councillors swore a very similar oath.


    The party that these individuals represent states the following on its website.

    The Democratic Alliance’s vision is of a prosperous, Open Opportunity Society for All that is uniquely South African; in which every person is free, secure, and equal before the law; and in which everyone has the means to improve the quality of his life and pursue her own aspirations.


    Our vision rests on the belief that:

    South Africa’s Constitution is the only foundation on which an Open Opportunity Society for All can be built because it recognizes that every person is equal in dignity and worth and guarantees the freedom of each individual. The rights enshrined in the Constitution must be defended and promoted in order to protect the people of South Africa from the concentration and abuse of power.


    An independent and effective opposition and alternative government that is loyal to the constitutional order is essential to the promotion and preservation of democracy and freedom in our country.



    The Nature of Public Representation

    The role of Democratic Alliance Public Representatives is central to the success and growth of the Party. Public representatives are the standard bearers of the DA. They represent the Party in every aspect of public life, and in important respects, the Party is judged by their conduct and performance. They are leading activists of the Party and are expected to demonstrate leadership, knowledge and judgement.


    The Party requires its public representatives to maintain the highest standards of ethical behaviour, and any incidence of corruption, fraud, improper inducement, nepotism, dishonesty or similar offence on the part of any public representative will lead to disciplinary action.


    Public representatives are required to observe and comply with any codes of conduct prescribed in law or by the rules of the House or Council.


    When participating in the proceedings of a House or Council or committee, members are expected to have done an appropriate amount of preparation to be able to participate in a way that reflects to the credit of themselves and the Party.


    Public representatives are expected at all times to defend and promote the interests of the Party, and to propagate the Party’s policy and standpoints when appropriate. Any action or statement by a public representative which brings the good name of the Party into disrepute will be viewed in a very serious light.


    It is the duty of all public representatives to build the profile of the Party, and to defend and promote its interests at all times. All public representatives are expected to act in a way that promotes and advances the Party. Conversely, any action by a public representative that harms the Party will be viewed in a very serious light.


    And in O!O’s tweet column my eye falls on this little gem.

    RT @icandiCQ: “A brand has to feel the same way that it looks. And the way it feels is all about employee behaviour.”

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