Today’s Democratic Alliance (DA) scandal is in the political disaster town of Oudtshoorn in the Western Cape. The DA seeks to remove DA Mayor Colan Sylvester. The DA Federal Legal Commission will decide his fate.
It cannot be comforting for Sylvester knowing that the Federal Legal Commission sometimes acts as a hit squad for a faction within the DA Federal Council, and their provincial underlings.
Is this another move to preserve the power of that faction which includes Helen Zille, Allan Winde, Anton Bredell and Bonginkosi Madikizela?
The only animals more vicious than Oudtshoorn’s ostriches are politicians and municipal employees.
Mayor Colan Sylvester claimed that Municipal Manager Allan Paulse was involved in financial irregularities. The DA leadership responded by charging Sylvester for fabricating the allegations. Somehow, in between, the DA never bothered to supply the Public the truth.
This grayness is emphasised by Paulse supposedly belonging to the Zille faction, and that the DA has a habit of putting ” yes men” into power.
Kam Chetty was previously in charge of Oudthoorn. He then became Municipal Manager in neighbouring Knysna where the DA were involved in several crimes with him.
Mayor Eleanore Spies was implicated in fraud with Chetty.
Despite 15 charges, the DA allowed Chetty to quit unpunished. But as a fellow blue animal, not punishing Spies wasn’t enough – she needed to be rewarded for her corruption. Consequently, the DA promoted her to the National Assembly and made her the DA Constituency Officer for Oudtshoorn. As bonus, they continued to not investigate her husband, Rowan Spies, for fraud in Bitou Municipality. Conveniently, the DA had placed him on the mayoral committee of the Garden Route District Municipality which oversees Knysna and Oudtshoorn .
Bitou Mayor Memory Booysen was one of the worst the DA had. He was their poster boy, the DA’s first black mayor nationally, marketed on Carte Blanche through the false claim that there was an ongoing threat to his life. That blackness in pursuit of votes part may have been early reason for his retention when things went wrong in that town (his illegal closure of the Municipality, the housing list controversy, the electricity theft by municipal staff outrage). But after his sexting for a job scandal, it seemed that he was just another comprised politician the DA would own forever via a salary. After all, they made him the Mayor of Garden Route District Municipality… and, although he turned it down, the DA offered him an MP post.
Residents would turn blue in the face if they held their breath waiting for help from to arrive from above.
DE SWARDT REPORT
The De Swardt Vogel Myambo Attorney’s investigation recommended criminal charges against Spies, Chetty and another.
Recently Premier Alan Winde lied to the Western Cape Legislature that he’d never received a copy of the report that Zille and many others had received too.
When Helen Zille was Premier, she never acted on my complaints against then MEC Winde (now her successor) and MEC Local Government Anton Bredell). Yesterday, I sent new complaint to DA Leader John Steenhuisen and DA Federal Leader Ivan Meyer. I consider them to be in Zille’s faction, thus likely to be unresponsive. So I also sent it to the Western Cape Legislature, to the Speaker and the Chairs of two committees.
Previously, my complaint to the Legislature against MEC Anton Bredell was acknowledged but not consummated. Notably, the DA now retains majority with 24 of the 42 seats. Speaker Masizole Mnqasela, Chair Mireille Wenger and Chair Ricardo MacKenzie are all DA. Consequently, I CCied opposition members on their committees. ANC Western Cape Leader Cameron Dugmore said he’d have Mackenzie table it for their meeting.
The De Swardt report and the DA’s leaderships contrary actions thereafter are enough to discredit John Steenhuisen’s “new” DA. If there’s any consolation it’s that Helen Zille’s jocks are in a knot today.
In the same Garden Route District Municipality, 100km away from Oudtshoorn, the DA is trying to kick out their Knysna mayor, Mark Willemse. Willemse is fighting for for his survival. Knysna’s health incidentally gets to tag along.
Unsurprisingly, Mayor Willemse wants the DA to act on the De Swardt Report. It’s one reason why he’s defending himself via High Court action (with the next date scheduled for November 28).
In my experience, the judiciary is biased in favour of the DA but that doesn’t mean all are. Willemse stands a chance of winning against power purely on the fact that the DA used the infamous and discredited De Lille clause to fire him i.e. they got rid of him for voting his conscience. The DA doesn’t allow its politicians to have that small, nagging voice inside of them but the Constitutional Court does.
Because Willemse may win, I’m sure the DA leadership is scurrying around, trying to figure out a bribe that’ll work for Willemse (long ago, they tried to bribe me and my lawyer who was acting against them in Bitou). I hope Willemse rejects whatever they offer. He may lose his mayorship but the fight has been the best free marketing campaign he could’ve hoped for. He has a good chance at winning the Ward 9 by-election, returning as an independent councillor. With the ANC having won Ward 4 from an independent who was the DA’s coalition partner, the DA’s leadership problem would be compounded. The DA are fearful of not regaining control after the ANC took over during Mayor Willemse’s suspension.
If you put your ear out the window, you can hear that thwack as Zille’s jocks make another knot.
NETWORK OF POWER
Can a clean politician survive in the DA?
Is everything in the Western Cape linked by the cover-up of DA crime that requires compromised individuals to take part in return for expensive jobs?
As John Steenhuisen was a senior leader during the establishment of corruption, should we believe him when he repeatedly states that the DA, under him, is returning to grassroots, and will listen to the communities it serves? Should Oudtshoorn and Knysna club together to buy him a hearing aid?
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