Speaker hospitalised

Council Meeting off

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Drewan Baird. Oudtshoorn. 12 September 2013. 00h00. Speaker John Stoffels was rushed to hospital yesterday afternoon after he suffered an apparent heart attack.

Stoffels was considering court papers filed by MEC Bredell on Tuesday when he collapsed.

The Speaker suffered extreme stress during recent weeks.

On Tuesday advocate Shaheed Patel and I had to comfort Stoffels in the High Court in Cape Town when counsel for the DA David Bergström argued enthusiastically for costs to be awarded against the Speaker in his personal capacity.

On leaving court Stoffels was confronted with yet new papers served to demand costs in his personal capacity.

It simply does not end.

Stoffels has a history of heart trouble since he was advised by medical support staff during the 2009 Two Oceans Marathon to abandon the race. He is still a regular runner, but under strict medical caution.



Some of us have a higher tegumentary resistance (by reason of thicker skins) than others and may probably lack empathy for those more sensitive to criticism.

Consider the most recent circumstances of John Stoffels, if you will.

I would not have wanted the Speaker’s Chair on May 31 when the DA launched an ill construed, illegal coup by conspiratorial consent and political stupidity.

The DA’s antics since that opprobrious day are recorded on this blog and ended in Tuesday’s devastating High Court finding against the DA and its councillors and their political graftings.

During the return trip to Oudtshoorn later that evening, Stoffels succumbed and handed the wheel of his car to another to complete the journey.

Former CFO Deon Lott died on April 16 after suffering a stroke directly attributed to stress caused by well-nigh constant councillor and colleague threats.

The local government environment is a trying and often times disagreeable milieu. This is a sad, but indisputable fact.

Let’s consider, briefly, the recent Oudtshoorn scenario.

Intimidating sms messages such as “wees bang, wees baie bang” and “hulle gaan jou so diep bêre hulle gaan jou brekfis met ‘n kettie inskiet” en “hulle gaan jou hare met ‘n minora blade kam”; and continuous threats of legal action and actual vexatious litigation make for unhappy and ultiomately unproductive people disowned even of ambition to achieve.

The DA buys five ANC councillors and springs a surprise on the ANC government on May 31.

The five are wined and dined to the point of whining and dying. Politically speaking.

Four lives, and they be the lives of providers, and four households suffer unimaginable distress as one apostate, Jurie Harmse, survives by the macula of his munchers – for the political gain of a party and the financial gains of some other councillors. All in the name of democracy and service delivery, mind.

And the Pope is a Harlem rapper.

The legal battleground is bestrewn with bloodied bodies.

The law enforcement personnel, and the cleaning staff, and the lower echelon of ordinary, hard working people fighting daily to keep insecure jobs, are lambasted and insulted and threatened by ill mannered scoundrels and scalawags – incited by their more sophisticated task masters who keep a safe distance behind proverbial tea and cucumber sandwich strategic sessions with their higher-ups dictating questionable tactics in the name of democratic principle and meretricious claims on the untenanted moral high ground wasting away by desolation.

By God, this is indefensible!

Oudtshoorn should not be run by scoundrels arrogating to represent the people of Oudtshoorn when they are nothing, nothing more than expendable pawns on the chess board of soi disant political parvenu pretenders established by nothing more than some continuum of office courtesy of the great unwashed too disinterested to demand accountability.

It is sickening.

Of the 25 current councillors O!O rates only four. Three from the ANC-led alliance and one from the DA-led alliance.

We need councillors in Oudtshoorn who will stand up to their political bosses and represent the people of Oudtshoorn, not the people of the DA and the ANC leadership.

And talking about leadership…

Ye gods and faeries, from where I stand there is but nothing even resembling leadership.

Stoffels is in hospital as I write. I visited him last night and came away with, for the first time since I started commenting on local politics some five years ago, with considerable resentment… And with a new-found resolve.

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9 thoughts on “Speaker hospitalised

  1. die speaker ;speel met tyd ;eers klou hy aan mag ;tweedens slaan hy security ;jo ek sal hom nooit jammer kry ;hy het dit self aan hom gedoen.

  2. Dan moet ‘n mens dit dan ook maar nie eerder glo dat Deon Lott oorlede is nie.Kla dan die mediese dokter aan by die mediese raad.Wat se sy mediese sertifikaat.Ne o jene nou’t ek al alles gelees.O!O het meer rillers as die SON. Ai ja ja!!!

  3. Ons weet mos almal, die Speaker het nie n hartaanval gehad nie. Hy moet nie, hy kan nie beskikbaar wees om n vergadering te bele nie. Korrupte NPP leiers. Gaan dit 6 of 12 maande wees wat die Speaker nie, beskikbaar gaan wees nie?

  4. mm gone. speaker oppad. ma die onwetttige aanstellings is vinniger as die vacancies


  6. Yes they must. Section 41 of the Structures Act 117 of 1998 provides that “If the Speaker of a municipal council is absent or not available to perform the functions of speaker, or during a vacancy, the council must elect another councillor to act as speaker.”
    There is no discretion, the council must elect an acting speaker.

  7. Alle Sterkte Seen en ‘n Spoedige herstel word Speaker Stoffels toegewens.

  8. Can’t they appoint a temporary speaker, or doesn’t it work that way?

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