This is what desperation looks like?
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Drewan Baird. Oudtshoorn. 27 July 2014. 21h45. Ivan Meyer, the DA’s Western cape leader and provincial minister of finance, is now burdened with the additional responsibility of Oudtshoorn constituency head.
And Ivan, so my contact in his office tells, is desperate to show that he can “save” Oudtshoorn where Theuns Botha and Anton Bredell had failed.
Something like “who makes the best impression in the teenage shower room” kind of nonsense.
Here is a media statement Ivan issued a week ago, Tuesday last:
Demokratiese Allianse mediaverklaring deur dr. Ivan Meyer, leier van die DA in die Wes-Kaap en DA-kiesafdelingshoof van Oudtshoorn
Herstel demokrasie in Oudtshoorn
Dinsdag 22 Julie
Die Oudtshoorn Raad is tans ’n mislukking wat deur ’n paar individue tot hul eie voordeel bestuur word. Vir maande reeds verydel die ANC-koalisie in die Raad die uitslag van ’n demokratiese verkiesing deur belastingbetalers se geld te gebruik om hofsake aanhangig te maak om die demokratiese proses te vertraag.
Ek het Maandag 21 Julie met die DA-koukus van in die Oudtshoorn Raad vergader ten einde hierdie situasie te probeer beredder. Die uitkoms hiervan was soos volg:
• Projek “Herstel Demokrasie in Oudtshoorn” (HDO) is geloods en sal breedvoerig uiteengesit word tydens strategiese beplanningsessies wat binnekort sal plaasvind.
• Die kiesafdelingbestuur en koukus is versoek om amptelik die OVK-verkiesingshof te nader om ondersoek in te stel na die weiering van die ANC-koalisie om die uitslag van ’n verkiesing te aanvaar.
• Nuwe meganismes soos die Staande Komitee vir Plaaslike Regeringsake sal versoek word om die betrokke oortreders te subpoena om voor hulle te verskyn en verslag te doen.
• Daar sal op ’n weeklikse basis vrae en mosies in die nasionale- sowel as die provinsiale parlement namens Oudtshoorn gestel word.
• Ons kiesers sal versoek word om, indien hulle kennis dra van ongerymdhede, ons te nader sodat ons die vrae aan die spesifieke portefeulje se minister kan rig.
Ek wil die kiesers die versekering gee dat ons alle moontlike stappe sal oorweeg om die situasie te beredder. Dit is belangrik dat die deurlopende wanpraktyke en korrupsie aan die kaak gestel word en die betrokke oortreders voor stok gekry word.
Voorts dra ek kennis van die verwarring by die kiesers ten opsigte van die absurde tariefverhogings wat volgens die Minister van Plaaslike Regering, Anton Bredell, as onwettig beskou word. As die Wes-Kaapse minister van Finansies, sal ek hierdie- sowel as ander verwante aangeleenthede met my kollegas bespreek om so spoedig moontlik oplossings te vind.
Listen up, Ivan, I have some questions for you.
But first, about “democracy”…
The claim that the ANC/Icosa/NPP Coalition is irregularly denying the DA/Cope Coalition to govern Oudtshoorn, is deceptive, delusory, and dishonest.
The Oudtshoorn Council has 25 members: 12 DA; 10 ANC; 1 Cope; 1 Icosa; 1 NPP.
The DA and Cope (13 seats) have a tenuous coalition; and the ANC, Icosa, and the NPP Coalition (12 seats), currently governs.
Ten DA councillors and the Cope councillor are removed as councillors by operation of law for being absent without permission from three consecutive council meetings. The councillors oppose the removal in the Western Cape High Court on August 4 (Case No. 3517/14).
One DA councillor is removed by operation of law for being absent without permission from three consecutive council meetings, being different meetings than those from which the above 11 were absent. This councillor opposes his removal in the Western Cape High Court on August 4 (case No. 8813/14).
One DA councillor, being one of the 11 opposing their removal in Case 3517/14 above, is opposing his sequestration in the Western Cape High Court on August 14 – sequestration will remove him from council by operation of law.
One DA councillor, the sole one in good standing, is currently being prosecuted by the DA in a disciplinary matter relating to his refusal to support DA motions of no confidence. A sanction of removal is possible, if not probable.
The Cope member had been removed as a councillor by his party, and, apparently, been reinstated. Confusion characterises his current standing, him being removed by operation of law, and removed, or not, by his party.
Two DA councillors, both removed by operation of law in Case 3517/14, are expected to be investigated by the DA for their part in an illegal settlement attempt to void personal legal cost of one of the two. This is the same councillor facing sequestration – for failure to settle the self-same legal cost. A sanction of removal is possible, if not probable, following a party disciplinary process.
For the DA to claim a majority of votes, or something approximating a majority of votes, to pass motions of no confidence in the current Oudtshoorn executive, is, under these circumstances, both ludicrous and patently deceptive.
The governing coalition Speaker is fulfilling his statutory and moral obligation to secure the integrity of the council.
Now for some questions, Ivan:
1. Given your claim to knowledge of maladministration and corruption (“deurlopende wanpraktyke en korrupsie”) in the Oudtsshoorn Municipality, why have you and the Western Cape Government not fulfilled your ensuant statutory obligations to intervene, at least initially by investigation?
2. Did the MEC for local government request a report on the tender for the Cango Caves Restaurant, and if so, what prompted the request, and why was the report requested?
3. Did the municipality provide a report in response to the request mentioned in (2) above, following an investigation by the municipality, and did Local Government receive such report, and did the report clear the tender process?
4. Why are the allegations ventilated in the media through media statements following closed caucus meetings, and by anonymous messages, and not by the provincial government, given your media statement claim to knowledge of “deurlopende wanpraktyke en korrupsie”?
5. Is the timing of the current ventilation of allegedly longstanding and ongoing malpractice and corruption designed to concur with the two high court hearings set down for August 4; the drag on the Peter Roberts Disciplinary; and the Pierre Nel sequestration hearing of August 14 – all potentially reducing the Oudtshoorn DA caucus, in coalition with Cope, by one – or 13! – members?
6. Does your reference to “deurlopende wanpraktyke en korrupsie” include the attempted fraudulent settlement of the cost in Nel v. Oudtshoorn, which implicates 11 of the 12 DA caucus members, and resulted in criminal investigation; the outcome of which is currently a matter to be ruled upon by the DPP after a challenge to his initial refusal to prosecute?
7. What are your views, a) as minister of finance, b) as provincial party leader, and c) as Oudtshoorn constituency head, on the Nel Settlement, and are you investigating this irregularity with the same vigour as characterise your allusion to “deurlopende wanpraktyke en korrupsie” in the municipality at large?
8. What are your views, a) as minister of finance, b) as provincial party leader, and c) as Oudtshoorn constituency head, on the DA’s illegal take-over attempt on May 31, 2013, and do you include this high court finding in your reference to “deurlopende wanpraktyke en korrupsie”?
9. What are your views, a) as minister of finance, b) as provincial party leader, and c) as Oudtshoorn constituency head, on the legal cost awarded against your caucus members, and remaining outstanding, in an amount representing a larger percentage of the Oudtshoorn budget than Nkandla represents of the national budget – and do you include this outrage in your reference to “deurlopende wanpraktyke en korrupsie”?