Rubbish. Plain, vanilla, garden variety codswallop.
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Drewan Baird. Oudtshoorn. August 12, 2014. 07h35. Oudtshoorn Speaker John Stoffels this morning reacted strongly to claims made by DA Leader Helen Zille in her latest newsletter:
From Ms Zille’s August 11 Newsletter…
The DA is currently locked in a court battle to force the ANC to relinquish power in the Oudtshoorn municipality, after the ANC lost its majority in by-elections in August last year.
One year later, they are still refusing to hand over power, and are spending ratepayers’ money hand-over-fist in filibustering court cases to stay in control. Recent reports allege that R16 million have now been removed from the Cango Caves trust account into the municipality’s coffers as the ANC bleeds the town dry.
The extent of the abuse was reflected in two court judgements in which the Judge ordered the Speaker of Oudtshoorn to personally pay the costs of court cases, after he refused to convene council meetings to avoid a motion of no confidence against the ANC.
Since then, undaunted, the ANC has resorted to suspending DA councillors on the flimsiest of pretexts so that the ANC can cling onto its majority in the council.
The ANC in Oudtshoorn is playing for time till the 2016 election and, already, multiple strategies are underway to ensure that they win again, by hook or by crook (normally the latter).
If fraudulent registrations happened in Tlokwe, they are almost certain to be a feature of registrations in Oudtshoorn and many other marginal municipalities in the run-up to 2016.
The DA does not govern Oudtshoorn because the DA could not succeed with motions of no confidence in the executive since May 31, 2013, when it had all but half the then ANC councillors – more than 35% (!) of the members of the governing Coalition – siding with the DA!
The magnitude of such political ineptitude is discombobulating, and surely disconcerting to a straggle arrogating to be a government in improper waiting.
The claim that the ANC/Icosa/NPP Coalition is irregularly denying the DA/Cope Coalition some divine right 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 opposed the removal in the Western Cape High Court on August 4, and judgement is reserved. “Flimsiest of pretexts”, Ms Zille!?
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 opposed his removal in the Western Cape High Court on August 4, and judgement is reserved. “Flimsiest of pretexts”, Ms Zille!?
One DA councillor, being one of the 11 opposing their removal in, is opposing his sequestration in the Western Cape High Court on August 14 – sequestration will remove him from council by operation of law.
Two DA councillors, both removed by operation of law, are expected to be investigated by the DA for their part in the illegal Nel 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.
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 because of his opposition to the Nel Settlement. 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.
Roguery all round… and a blue wall of silence. Zero “zero tolerance”.
For you Ms Zille, given the facts, to use words like “crook” and “fraudulent” in citing Oudtshoorn would be risible, but for being perverted.
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 reason the DA is not governing Oudtshoorn is that the DA cannot muster 13 votes to pass motions of no confidence in the executive.
I remain the legitimate governing coalition Speaker and will continue to fulfil my statutory and moral obligation to secure the integrity of the Oudtshoorn Council.
On June 1, the Saturday after the DA’s unsuccessful and illegal attempt at coup in the Oudtshoorn council, attorney for the municipality Hardy Mills wrote the local DA leadership to seek “urgent assurance that no steps will be taken pursuant to resolutions purportedly adopted at an unlawful gathering of councillors held after the Council meeting of Friday, 31 May 2013 was duly adjourned by the Speaker…” and trusting “that urgent court action can be avoided”.
Caucus leader Wessie van der Westhuizen replied: “You are absolutely welcome to take any court action you like to.” (sic)
The rest is history. I was forced to approach the Western Cape High Court and on September 10 Mr Justice André le Grange ruled the May 31 trickery unlawful and ordered cost against the DA and apostate ANC councillors.
To this day Case 8616/2013 remains the only, the sole, the lone, the solitary court action initiated by me… won with cost: The legitimate town government and the municipality of the Greater Oudtshoorn incurred no cost to the ratepayers by legal action following the illegitimate orchestrated guile of the DA on May 31.
The municipality at this time eagerly awaits defrayment by the rogue councillors who appear to grab at every straw to avoid responsibility for their illegal and dastardly actions.
If the DA acted against its councillors Pierre Nel and Ben van Wyk for fixing to have the ratepayers foot Nel’s personal legal bill in his failed suit against the municipality, I need not have acted to protect the integrity of my Council.
Mr Justice André le Grange, in finding the DA’s thwarted coup d’état of May 31, 2013 illegal, warned against the DA settling this debt but again should the DA assume power. Yet, Ms Zille, the DA did absolutely nothing to address the deviltry of its caucus. In the scandalous absence of DA leadership, I had to act. “Flimsiest of pretexts”, Ms Zille!?
If the DA councillors attended council meetings as they are obliged to do, and as they were advised by the DA’s own lawyers, I need not have acted to protect the integrity of my Council and the current matters before Mr Justice Owen Rogers would not have arisen. “Flimsiest of pretexts”, Ms Zille!?
Plain, vanilla, garden variety codswallop.
Ms Zille should have some knowledgeable individual of sufficient fiscal ilk in her office call the Oudtshoorn CFO for a short instruction on the facts.
I call upon Ms Zille to stop her innuendo and misrepresentations and lacklustre attempts to sleek over the shortcomings of her councillors all – it is unbecoming and jejune, and it impedes service delivery in Oudtshoorn.
Speaker of the Greater Oudtshoorn Municipal Council, Alderman John Stoffels