How much did Zille and her henchmen know!?
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Drewan Baird. Oudtshoorn. 7 February 2014. 05h45. Here is a transcript of the Speaker’s Report on the fraudulent Nel Settlement, accepted by council yesterday. Links to the attachments are below.
REPORT OF SPEAKER IN TERMS OF ITEM 13 OF THE CODE OF CONDUCT FOR COUNCILLORS AS CONTAINED IN SCHEDULE 1 OF THE MUNICIPAL SYSTEMS ACT 32 OF 2000.
RE: FRAUDULENT SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT ENTERED INTO BETWEEN COUNCILLOR PIERRE NEL AND THE OUDTSHOORN MUNICIPALITY PURPORTED TO BE REPRESENTED BY COUNCILLOR BEN VAN WYK
THE SPEAKER’S DUTY TO INVESTIGATE BREACHES
If the speaker has a reasonable suspicion that the Code of Conduct has been breached, he or she must:
(a) Authorize an investigation into the facts and circumstances of the alleged breach;
(b) Give the councilor a reasonable opportunity to respond in writing; and
(c) Report to a council meeting.
It has been alleged that all the DA councillors were party to the above-mentioned fraudulent settlement.
REASONABLE TIME TO RESPOND IN WRITING:
(a) Nel and Van Wyk were invited to respond to the allegations as early as July 10 and responded through their legal advisors on 16 July 2013 that they would “need to prepare a full and comprehensive response to the allegations… and shall revert as soon as it is reasonably possibly to do so”.
(b) The relevant forensic report, a copy of which is attached hereto marked Annexure “A”, featured in two high court cases, the second currently being sub judice in the Supreme Court of Appeal, in the course of which all the DA councillors declined the opportunity to address the allegations and/or respond thereto.
(c) After allegations came to my attention that all the DA councillors were involved in the settlement, I invited them on 7 November 2013 to respond to the allegations.
(d) After they failed to respond, several further invitations followed.
(e) The DA councilors, properly legally represented throughout, were warned that their failure to respond might lead to an adverse conclusion to be drawn, and that if they persist to decline to answer to the allegations, it will be at their own peril.
(f) On 19 November 2013 the DA councillors replied through their attorneys in the following clear terms “… When the Council is properly and democratically constituted, our clients will certainly respond in full detail to the alleged complaints…”
(g) Eventually councilor Peter Roberts consulted with their attorneys and was advised to cooperate with the investigation and to tell the truth at all times, which he has done.
(a) Councilor Pierre Nel repeatedly approached the DA caucus to settle his legal bill that was due and payable by him to the municipality.
(b) The Caucus initially resisted the approaches on the grounds that the expense originated before its tenure.
(c) At least four meetings on the matter were held before 31 May 2013, and at least two afterwards.
(d) The Caucus was repeatedly warned by councilor Roberts that any settlement agreement would be illegal.
(e) Eventually a resolution was taken by all the DA councillors, with the exception of Roberts, to authorize Van Wyk to conclude the settlement agreement with Nel. A copy of the minutes of the meeting dated 24 June 2013 is attached hereto marked Annexure “B”.
(f) It is this minutes to which the settlement agreement document fraudulently refers to as “council resolution No 24/6/13”.
(g) Van Wyk was unsure about whether he was in fact the legal executive mayor when signing the agreement.
(h) He eventually signed the agreement after assurance from the other members, and in particular MacPherson, that he was indeed the legally elected mayor.
(i) It goes without saying that even if he was hypothetically the legal mayor at the time, it would not have changes the legality of the settlement for various reasons, the most obvious being the fact that no council decision was ever taken to the effect. It was simply a DA caucus decision and the first decision taken as the “newly elected executive council of Oudtshoorn” according to them at the time.
(j) When news of the agreement became public, Van Wyk denied ever reading the settlement document.
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION:
I accordingly find that all the councilors as cited below, who supported the decision to enter into the fraudulent settlement agreement, made themselves guilty of fraud and are thus in gross violation of the Code of Conduct for Councilors.
1.1. Cllr Vernatt van der Westhuizen;
1.2. Cllr Dianne de Jager;
1.3. Cllr Ewa Fortuin;
1.4. Cllr Danie Fourie;
1.5. Cllr Julia Le Roux;
1.6. Cllr Pierre Nel;
1.7. Cllr Christiaan MacPherson;
1.8. Cllr Felicity Magxaka;
1.9. Cllr Ben van Wyk;
1.10. Cllr Raymond Wildschut.
I hereby submit my report and findings together with my recommendation to council that the MEC be requested to remove all the above cited councilors from office. Since the issue regarding the temporarily suspension of councilors voting rights pending his decision is currently the subject of litigation, I do not recommend such action until the outcome of said litigation.
Cllr. J. Stoffels
Speaker: Oudtshoorn Municipality
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