GEORGE NEWS - In the past week the spotlight was on George Mayor Melvin Naik's looming suspension and the DA bringing criminal charges against Naik and others implicated in the War on Waste exposé.
Opposition parties, however, are questioning the DA's motives, asking why the role players in the Old Mutual investment saga did not get the same treatment.
Highlighting other infamous projects at the local authority, Adv Gert van Niekerk of the Freedom Front Plus said the FF Plus is looking forward to the forensic investigators' findings regarding Muravah, the Nelson Mandela Boulevard (NMB) project and the connection between the role players in the War on Waste and the NMB projects. "Residents need to prepare for a bombshell," he said.
In a statement last week, Secretary-General of the Good party Brett Herron again pointed out that allegations of a corrupt investment practice involving DA portfolio councillor of finance, Stag Cronjé, were brought to the attention of the provincial Minister for Local Government and DA Western Cape chairperson, Anton Bredell, back in July 2018, but that the minister failed to act.
Bredell hit back with a statement last Wednesday, 22 January, saying the opposition are trying to "score cheap political points by grandstanding".
He referred to a statement issued in April 2019, in which he addressed the issue. At the time Bredell confirmed his department was aware of the allegations and had reported the matter to the Hawks, and that the municipality procured the services of a forensic firm to investigate.
Stag Cronjé said the report pertaining to the investment will serve in Council today.
"I can't jump the gun. It's common knowledge that I, Keith Jordaan, Cecil Noble and many others were framed to shift the focus away from those who are corrupt. My attorney responded to the report that will serve before Council. We gave our full cooperation - also to the Hawks and the Public Protector."
ANC Southern Cape regional secretary Major Sokopo demanded an immediate probe into the Old Mutual Wealth case, and said the DA is giving the impression that the forensic investigation into War on Waste was their initiative, but that it was the ANC and PBI that alerted the Hawks.
PBI leader Virgill Gericke said he was the one who requested the investigations into Naik. "We are questioning how the DA obtained the minister's report after it was classified as confidential, and why many of the officials are implicated.
"The DA wants to draw the attention away from its DA political office bearers and escape responsibility. They should have acted long ago in April 2018, when the PBI laid charges with the Hawks."
Icosa's provincial leader Dawid Kamfer asked why the DA always blames black and coloured councillors when there is corruption, and said more people within the DA are involved in the alleged corruption.
Adding their voice, the EFF in the Southern Cape issued a statement on Tuesday, saying that "the DA is using the George Municipality corruption scandal for a publicity stunt in an attempt to save face and rebrand on the eve of 2021 local government elections".
- DA caucus votes Naik must go
- DA accused of selective action after gunning for Mayor
- 'Dirty' money in war on waste
- DA lays criminal charges against Mayor, senior officials
- DA wants to suspend mayor following damning report
- Municipal investigations: Game of thrones
- MEC and MM lock horns
- Minister responds to statement by Municipal Manager
- Municipal Manager responds to investigation report
- Mayor welcomes investigation, Municipal Manager questions motives
- Bredell orders investigation into George Municipality
'We bring you the latest George, Garden Route news'