GARDEN ROUTE DISTRICT NEWS - The Garden Route Mayor, Memory Booysen, is being investigated for two issues which raised some concerns from the opposition parties and the community: a paid trip to Indonesia, and a possible 50-year lease agreement for the Calitzdorp Spa and De Hoek resorts in Kannaland and Oudtshoorn, to the same company who sponsored the trip.
DA Western Cape Provincial chairman, Anton Bredell, said the Western Cape government is currently conducting a full investigation into this matter.
"The outcome of the investigation will determine what legitimate action steps the DA will take in this regard," said Bredell.
Booysen informed Council last Thursday during a district council meeting about the investigation. A forensic team of the Western Cape Department of Local Government paid a visit to his office last Wednesday. The focus of the investigation is his trip to Indonesia last year September.
Booysen said he also had to report on why the Calitzdorp Spa and De Hoek resorts are the focus of attention.
''I had to submit all evidence and procedures to officials [about the trip],'' said Booysen.
Booysen said he wants to inform Council fully because he does not want to read in the papers that they did not know.
More about the mayor
In what was Booysen's longest speech since he took the mayoral seat in 2016, he gave councillors an overview of his background, studies, experience and leadership, referring also to his time as mayor of Bitou.
Booysen said he has extensive knowledge and experience of the hotel industry, which was his line of study. He said he wanted Council to know more about himself and his management style, since his management style is being investigated. He explored the reasons and findings of his trip to Indonesia and, referring to the 50-year lease drama relating to the resorts,
said he shares his vision and will keep informing people as he see fit. ''My pronouncements are not Council resolutions,'' said Booysen.
PBI leader Virgill Gericke said he will never stand in the way of development, but asked the mayor to make sure the process is right and that the community is being properly consulted.
"You are not alone. You are obliged to report to Council and you have not done it," said Gericke.
Ivan Mangaliso of the ANC said Booysen has not completely taken Council in his confidence.
He said it seems that Council is being soft-soaped for an item that will come. ANC's Doris Xego said: ''We are the opposition and as touching as your speech was, we will not shy away from the truth.''
An item on the two resorts was due to serve in Council, but was withdrawn pending the investigation.
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