The politics of Plettenberg Bay has claims to being the most dysfunctional in the country. After a controversial reign by the ANC (African National Congress), the DA (Democratic Alliance) took over with bad decision after bad decision that has cost the taxpayer many millions of rands. During this, as documented on my blog and others, the DA never hesitated to lie. One consequence of the latest fiasco is that their municipality now has 2 managers (2 salaries) and is facing damages for more millions.
Politics got very interesting and conflicting when the Speaker died recently, forcing a by-election for December 5 2012. The gap is Ward 2, the centre of town and traditionally an overwhelming DA stronghold fortified by white people who do not vote for right or wrong but rather for the DA out of fear of the ANC and black people. That is not a controversial or presumptuous statement for me to make. It happens all over South Africa (including in my beloved home town of Knysna which sits next door to Plett).
What makes this election ultra important for the citizens of Plett (Bitou) is that they have a hung council i.e. if an independent candidate defies the odds, he or she would be able to vote with conscience (and for Plett’s best interests) rather than for the ANC or the DA’s political interests.
An astonishing development was when the Plettenberg Business Chamber issued a statement against the inter-party politics which has been destroying their town and came out strongly in support of one of their members as an independent candidate. His name is Francois Geldenhuys.
I can’t claim to know all the ins and outs of Plett but in lieu of its recent history, i publish Francois’ letter of complaint, addressed to the IEC, against electoral misconduct and lies by the DA:
Francois J Geldenhuys
P O Box 1396
30 November 2012
Reverend Courtney Sampson
IEC Western Cape
By email: email@example.com
Dear Reverend Sampson
By-Election; Bitou; Ward 2; 5 December
I am the independent candidate for ward 2 in the Bitou by-election of 5 December 2012.
I respectfully submit that the IEC disqualify the DA candidate, Mr Wayne Craig, for breach of the Electoral Act 27 of 2000.
I attach copies of emails by
1) The chairperson of the Bitou DA Constituency Committee, Mrs Liz Mundell, on 18 November 2012,to addresses apparently listed in a DA electronic database (IEC2) claiming that my backers and I are closely aligned with the ANC or are ANC members; and
2) The DA candidate, Mr Wayne Craig, to addresses contained in the database of the GAA (IEC1).
It is generally accepted that ward 2 consists of white voters who are fearful, in actual fact, of ANC rule in Bitou. A DA/Cope coalition governs since 18 May 2011 after many years of ANC rule and ward 2 is the DA stronghold, having returned 95% of votes cast in the 2011 election for the DA.
Following on Mundell’s fictitious claim that my backers and I are closely aligned with the ANC or are ANC members, the Cope Deputy Mayor, expecting not to survive a vote of no confidence should the governing coalition lose its majority as a result of my election, recently made a public statement that the ANC had paid me R 500 000 to run my campaign.
I have made every effort to meet with the parties in question with a view to have this disinformation corrected, but to no avail. These unfounded allegations constitute egregious lies and have injured me personally while fraudulently influencing voters not to vote for me, undermining the by-election to the point where it can hardly be regarded to be free and fair.
I refer to sections of the Electoral Act 27 of 2000 and accordingly petition you to disqualify Craig.
INTENTIONAL FALSE STATEMENTS
- No person, when required in terms of the Act to make a statement, may make this statement –
- Knowing that it is false; or
- Without believing on reasonable grounds that the statement is true.
- No person may publish any false information with the intension of-
- Disrupting or preventing en election
- Creating hostility or fear in order to influence the conduct or outcome of an election; or
- Influencing the conduct or outcome of an election.
Section 9 deals with the code of conduct.
- No party or candidate may-
- Use language or act in a way that may provoke-
- Violence during an election; or
- The intimidation of candidates, members of parties representatives or supporters of parties or candidates, or votes;
- Publish false or defamatory allegations in connection with an election in respect of-
- A party, its candidates, representatives or members; or
- A ward candidate or that candidate’s representatives.
- Use language or act in a way that may provoke-
- Adv Pansy Tlakula; IEC
- Mr Dave Stewart; The FW de Klerk Foundation
- Ms Raenette Taljaard; The Helen Suzman Foundation
- Mr Justice Johan Kriegler; Freedom under Law