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Drewan Baird. Oudtshoorn. 4 February 2014. 08h55. The Reverend Noël Pietersen, beleaguered former municipal manager of Oudtshoorn, had been acquitted on all eight charges, including corruption, fraud, theft, and gross negligence, in the Bellville Special Commercial Crimes Court on January 31.
Pietersen issued this statement moments ago:
On January 31 I was acquitted on all eight charges, including corruption; fraud; theft; contravening the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act; and gross negligence, in the Bellville Special Commercial Crimes Court.
So ended a consuming and sapping ordeal that started on August 3, 2010 when Oudtshoorn businessman Nic Barrow and then acting municipal manager Trevor Botha laid charges against me, based largely on dubitable data supplied by an employee of Yethu, also by her own admission in court an intimate friend of Botha’s.
This court case eviscerated me and drained me and my loved ones, costing a fortune in money and spent emotion.
My reputation was shredded. Professional appointments became unprocurable. Financial hardship was inevitable; degrading; and abashing.
Yet not only was I acquitted, the court in fact failed to find any prima facie evidence against me – the Oudtshoorn Municipality suffered no financial harm, the court said; and there was no corrupting relationship between the company Yethu and me.
The court also took judicial notice of the race polarisation and political intolerance in Oudtshoorn at the time of the original charges by Barrow and Botha.
I am satisfied that the truth prevailed inevitably and that my integrity had been confirmed in the face of a malicious, apparently political, conspiracy by known adversaries to discredit me.
I will vigorously seek restitution from my detractors for this vindictive persecution dressed in a cheap tuxedo of arrogated justice.
The Reverend Noël Pietersen elects to content with this statement at this time.
Media enquiries will be entertained at some future determined time.
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