I reported this Oudtshoorn corruption to the Auditor General on 5 August 2020. It involves Mayor Chris McPherson & MEC Local Government Anton Bredell. Both are members of the Democratic Alliance.
It was acknowledged by Advocate Ryno De Water (Senior Manager: Investigations Business Unit), ccied to Michael Harmse (Manager: Investigations Business Unit). I was informed that there is an open case on Oudtshoorn.
In my previous post concerning Knysna corruption, I stated that dead birds don’t fly. However, in Oudtshoorn there are also living birds that don’t fly. This year’s scandals have prompted some residents to stand against the political crimes against them. I wish them well.
OUDTSHOORN ADD-ON: The airport account, irregular tenders, Councillor Chris McPherson & MEC Anton Bredell
My 6 July 2020 email to MEC Local Government Anton Bredell and Western Cape Senior Manager Melanie Joffee concerned Knysna but also Bredell as a compromised figure who cannot be allowed to investigate corruption he has long protected. I included the sentence to Bredell: “…the recent example of Oudtshoorn wherein you refused to act against the corruption of the Municipal Manager but instead plotted to illegally take over the town for the benefit of the DA.” That was with reference to his seditious attempt to overthrow the Oudtshoorn Local Government. That will be discussed furtheron.
My 10 July 2020 emails to Senior Manager Ryno De Water included the two recent Weber Wentzel investigations into Oudtshoorn. I was informed by De Water that there was an open case into Oudtshoorn but was not given the reference number. The information hereunder must be included in that investigation.
The issues below may appear dated, but they were unresolved and become immediately relevant because Christiaan Macpherson was allegedly involved. In July 2020, he was suddenly made a proportional councillor and announced as the DA’s Mayoral Candidate. As MEC Anton Bredell doubles as the DA’s Western Cape Chairperson, that could not have happened without his instigation or approval.
THE SECRET AIRPORT ACCOUNT
The audio recording, circa 2012/2013, allegedly features ‘Chris’ Macpherson (then DA Speaker) and Charles Meyer (ex- Chair of the external Audit Committee):
4.1. Recording [a1]
4.2. Transcript [a2]
One of the biggest scandals in Oudtshoorn at the time was the estimated 2000 Chinese aeroplane training flights per month, with no money going to the bankrupt Municipality that was meant to be the Public’s custodian of the airport. I attach two Noseweek articles regarding it [a3 & a4].
The secret bank account, referred to in the recording, must be identified. Who was involved and what happened to the money?
The Oudtshoorn Ratepayers’ Association (ORPA) collected extensive evidence about the overall scandal, as reported on by Noseweek. ORPA reported it to MEC Bredell who allegedly did not act. It is possible that the secret recording was not included.
ALLEGED TENDER FRAUD
Attached are screenshots from what was labelled as ‘Management Report’ [a5 & a6]. They refer to MacPherson’s undeclared involvement with High-Tech Auto Engineering that had received a tender for R131,817.
It recommends that MacPherson be investigated for fraud. Was he investigated? Or was it pushed under the carpet by the DA when the DA-led Western Cape Government placed the town under administration?
MacPherson was allegedly one of the DA councillors who participated in what was referred to as the Nel agreement. For background, refer to my 2014 blog, ‘Devil in the DA Deal’, part one and part two [a7 & a8].
The consequence was that the DA illegally attempted to saddle the citizens of Oudtshoorn with the DA’s legal bills [a9]. That was estimated to be between R700,000 and R4,500,000, the DA claiming the former figure, their opposition the latter? Who eventually paid it? Can be shown that the Public did not?
BLOSSOMS WATER SUPPLY PIPELINE
The Blossoms Water Supply Pipeline is an expensive 22km project to pipe water from George to Oudtshoorn.
It falls under MEC Bredell who announced that it was to go ahead after a long delay.
I do not have the evidence but was contacted in July 2020 by someone claiming to be a related professional. They clearly knew what they were talking about which is why I include here.
Allegedly, the project was corrupt from the beginning. The consulting engineers were appointed through a compromised tender process. Considering the importance of this project, and that pipes are soon to be laid, it should be a priority for investigation.
The Oudtshoorn Municipality is allegedly aware of the problem so gaining information should not be hard for the Auditor General.
WESTERN CAPE DA CHAIRPERSON ANTON BREDELL
Investigating sedition may not fall under the Auditor General’s mandate but interference in the Administration of Oudtshoorn Municipality may be relevant background.
More importantly, the Auditor General cannot trust the Western Cape Government and MEC Local Government MEC Anton Bredell. Consequently, this will affect the AG’s recommendations towards corrective active.
Premier Alan Winde and MEC Anton Bredell’s actions in Knysna have repeatedly shown that their loyalty to the DA supercedes their role as public officials. Oudtshoorn proves that again.
On 16 June 2020, I exposed a secret recording of Bredell planning the overthrow of the town of Oudtshoorn [a10]. He was addressing DA Oudtshoorn Councillors in the town of George in December 2019. James Selfe, the DA’s ex-Federal Chair, was in attendance.
Transcript of recording:
“Now I know some of you are going to be shocked, so I’m going to put a proposal on the table. Just listen to what I want to suggest, please. My suggestion is that we, that you, as Oudtshoorn’s Council, ’cause you’re the majority, you’re the Council, you ask that we put you under administration. What does that mean? That’s means that Administration will take over the Council’s functions, the Executive. You will still maintain your legislative functions. The Mayor will still stay the Mayor. The MAYCO members [Mayoral Committee] will stay the MAYCO members. Your salaries will remain the same. The benefit for that, I think, is that we will show the voters that, as leaders, you realise there is a problem, and that you step up to the plate, and that you’re willing to address it, with the support of the Province, with the support of the Party, that we get an Administrator, and that we get a team, an engineer, a CFO, a team of people in Oudtshoorn to come and support us. Secondly, I think that it’s very important that the benefit of this will be to make your hands a bit loose, to go back to your communities, because what we pick up in the research is that there’s a gap between the Councillors and the Communities. So my suggestion will be that the Mayor sit, sit and give us a list of the institutions within the Municipality, we draw up a schedule, and once a quarter we will meet with that, with the Administrator etc. etc. So that can help us, I think can help us, rebuild our brand, so that we can get the votes, 2021, to govern for the next 5 years.”
The reasons why DA/MEC Bredell likely expected the Councillors to be shocked is because:
22.1 There is supposed to be a separation of powers. Without it, the intended oversight function dies.
22.2. Bredell is bribing them with money for work they would not do.
22.3. The work they will do will essentially be campaigning for the DA at the Public’s expense.
22.4. The goal is to suspend democracy, get credit, and then capitalise on it to get votes and power for longer.
22.5. It was a plot for the DA against the residents of Oudtshoorn.
Premier Winde has defended Bredell.
If the Auditor General is to gain corrective action, it needs to recommend National intervention.