How is the DA to explain this one!?

The latest Wessie fiasco: I’m just dyin’ to see how the DA is going to twist itself out of this one!

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Drewan Baird. Oudtshoorn. 1 April 2014. 06h15. So Wessie van der Westhuizen, Eden DA Mayor, ignored a caucus decision yesterday and abstained on a critical issue…

Will the DA suspend Wessie as the DA suspended Oudtshoorn’s Peter Roberts – for ignoring a caucus decision?

It happened like this.

When an item on councillor Gert Niehaus, implicated with Wessie in the ENS Report, was tabled, Wessie rose to leave the chamber as he had been advised by his legal representative that his presence during the debate may compromise his disciplinary.

The ANC whip told council that Wessie’s withdrawal was out of order.

The speaker ruled that Wessie had to remain in the chamber and called him back as he was already walking out without the speaker’s consent. (As an Oudtshoorn DA councillor, Wessie of course is by now quite adept at upping and walking without the speaker’s permission.)

Wessie subsequently took his seat and muttered extensively as only a frustrated Wessie can. Then he added in a loud voice for all to hear that he was going to present the incident in his High Court Appeal.

The ANC progressed the meeting with a proposal that differed from the agenda item, before DA councillor Tertuis Simmers proposed the recommendations per the item.

The DA proposal was seconded by councillor Gibo Gerber and the speaker put the matter to a vote.

All DA councillors, except Wessie, voted for the DA proposal, and the ANC proposal was defeated by 14 votes to 8.

The DA caucus voted in favour… well, all caucus members but Wessie voted in favour. Wessie’s abstention is a clear violation of DA rules and reason sufficient for suspension pending a disciplinary hearing – just like the DA did with Peter Roberts in Oudtshoorn when he remained in chamber to quorate council.

Any DA councillor will invite disciplinary action by such behaviour, and more so as a caucus leader and executive mayor!

Moreover, Wessie ignored caucus decisions before. He did it twice in the run-up to the 2011 local government elections and escaped DA discipline. The official DA “explanantion” for its 2011 inaction was that Wessie had been an ID coalition member at the time and not subject to DA discipline. Why, however, did the DA reward such a loose canon with the Eden mayorship!? Because the DA simply just has to have “not white” leaders, see. It’s mos a party for ALL South Africans, don’t you know!? And how do we know this? Well,’cause the DA tells us! And the DA has the leaders to prove this too: Parachutists extraordinaire, I’ll have you know.

Why did the DA move against Niehaus – in a clear indication that the party might indeed move also against Wessie?

Because Alan Winde, DA MEC for finance, so ordered in an attempt to minimise the damage to the DA brand by the reluctance of party secretary and MEC for local government Anton Bredell, to act against Niehaus… and Wessie.

This event may be the strongest indication yet that the DA may – eventually – move against Wessie, but probably only after the May 7 general elections, as the removal of a sitting “not white” DA mayor is simply an alternative, in the words of BJ Vorstster, too ghastly to contemplate.

Does this mean that the DA may even act against the 10 Oudtshoorn members who were absent from three consecutive council meetings – a matter to be heard by the Western Cape High Court on May 21?

Who knows?

One thing seems to be indicated though: Wessie is on borrowed time.

And no councillor is more deserving of being on borrowed time.

But, hey, Dee-Aye: Are you’s going to suspend Wessie? Like you’s suspended Peter Roberts?

DA “principle” is a veritable Gordian knot.

This lot can not be trusted with the grave business of governing our towns.


click here to follow @DrewanBaird on twitter

For updates, new stories, and additional comment,
click here to follow @DrewanBaird on twitter

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One thought on “How is the DA to explain this one!?

  1. What will the DA do? Wessie also made rascist comments in the media about how so called coloured leaders are not respected enough, or seen as good enough, or always seen as corrupt in the DA. That was in the heat of his battle with the DA. He said this when it seemed certain the DA would act against him. Let’s wait and see until after May 7. Oudtshoorn politics is fun to watch. The DA will do nothing until after May 7. Question: Why have the Peter Roberts disciplinary hearing on 25 April? 12 days before the provincial\national election?

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