Stoffels off the hook thanks to Barrow, Nel, and Van Wyk decision!
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Drewan Baird. Oudtshoorn. 15 July 2014. 17h55. With feux de joie ringing around Oudtshoorn at the NPA’s decision not to prosecute Nic Barrow, Pierre Nel, and Ben van Wyk for “settling” Nel’s legal debt, the table is laid to void the Speaker’s legal debt incurred when he lost his Constitutional Court bid to have the suspension of the voting rights of Nel and Van Wyk confirmed.
Barrow, Nel and van Wyk should be particularly pleased at the Speaker’s let-off.
Barrow is known to have an affinity for Speaker Stoffels, as he hosted Stoffels and NPP President Badih Chaaban at the Queens on July 21, 2011, on the eve of a council meeting the follow day where Chaaban was to support the DA in a bid to govern Oudtshoorn. The plan folded when violent protests forced the then municipal manager, The Reverend Noël Pietersen, to abandon proceedings.
So. Barrow, Nel, and Van Wyk did no wrong, ruled the Western Cape DPP, in fixing to settle Nel’s legal debt. Therefore, it follows, that Mayor Gordon April, and Speaker John Stoffels, may sign a document resembling a Constitutional Court Order to void Stoffels’s legal debt. Not so!?
I am reduced to stitches by the mental image of Barrow and a few selected DA diehards learning that Stoffels had been cleared of all legal debt.
Let’s be clear, me hearties: The only reason the DA did not write off Nel’s legal debt, as they had connived to have done, is because the poor sods were not in administrative, or other, control to do so following the decision to void the debt.
Now that is principle for you!
The DA Leader, Helen Zille spoke to this “settlement” in an email of July 2, 2013, at 17h15:
Please be assured that I am looking into this matter, which I regard in a very serious light. I will get back to you with a formal response as soon as I am able to do so. Let me be quite clear: the DA would NOT allow, let alone condone, a private legal bill being passed on unlawfully to the ratepayers of Oudtshoorn.
So obvious was the settlement shenanigan that Mr Justice André le Grange referred to the danger of another such fast one in hearing The Speaker v. Van Wyk and others on September 10 last year.
At some point Le Grange exclaimed: “But these are serious allegations!”
Adv Johan Heunis, for The Speaker: “Pardon, My Lord?”
Le Grange: “These are serious allegations!”
Heunis: “And it becomes more serious still My Lord!”
Council for the DA David Borgström told the court on that day that if the new DA government should confirm the Nel settlement, the decision should be reviewed – and that he, Borgström, will be baying too for such revision.
Borgström acknowledged that the Nel settlement was suspect and that “Mr van Wyk’s political career might be much shorter than he anticipates”.
Strange then, that there now appears to be consensus among DA supporters that no wrong was done, or intended!
Must be the DA principle that’s causing the anomaly.
Interesting read, my notes of the Le Grange hearing.