POLITICAL NEWS - The audio recordings provided to the Opposition in the Legislature by a whistleblower provide clear evidence of the systematic and selective targeting of certain DA councillors and local government officials under the direct instruction of MEC Bredell.
The targeted individuals are the former mayor of George, Melvin Naik, as well as the current municipal manager of George, Mr Trevor Botha.
Yet, there has been no investigation of the then George Municipality CFO, Mr Keith Jordaan, who was found guilty in an internal disciplinary hearing for his role in the unlawful facilitation of an investment of R350 million of municipal funds with Old Mutual.
There was no Hawks raid on the home or office of Mr Keith Jordaan, despite being found guilty in the municipal disciplinary hearing. Surely the possibility of criminal charges should have been investigated?
Furthermore, the DA Mayco member for Finance at the time, Mr Stag Cronje, whose son benefitted from the unlawful Old Mutual investment, was not pursued at all. Why did Bredell and Paulse not request hawks to investigate as they did with Melvin Naik and Trevor Botha?
There was no Hawks raid on the home or office of Mr Stag Cronje despite MM Trevor Botha having reported his investigation into Cronje to both MEC Bredell and HOD Graham Paulse.
It has also become clear that the DA’s actions are not only selective and driven by internal factional battles, but clearly racist. MEC Bredell and then DA Federal Chairperson James Selfe, directly intervened to try and secure permanent employment for DA Councillor Leon van Wyk by undermining the recommendation of the department of local government that there was a suitably qualified black candidate for the post of Director Corporate Services. Public pressure and the exposure of the DA’s intention to undermine employment equity eventually led to the appointment of the candidate nominated by the selection committee.
It came as no surprise when the DA appointed Councillor Leon van Wyk as the Mayor after the resignation of the former Mayor, Melvin Naik.
This is clear evidence of how the DA favours white councillors and employees over Coloured and African individuals. The saga of then Cape Town Mayor, Patricia De Lille is another example. This was in stark contrast to the “slap on the wrist “treatment received by former premier and now DA Federal Chairperson, Helen Zille.
In the transcription of the audio recordings one hears the following voices:
1. Graham Paulse (Head of the Western Cape Department of Local Government who accounts directly to MEC Anton Bredell)
2. Deidre Viljoen (Director Provincial Forensic Services, Department of the Premier)
3. Kamal Makan (Director Department of Local Government)
4. Lucas Buter (Head of Legal Services, Department of the Premier)
In these recordings, Paulse is heard saying ..” The Minister is breathing down my neck to say you are not helping me, you are not helping me because besides all the other stuff , I am under political pressure.
It is clear that there has been a deliberate capture by the DA of the office of the Public Protector in the Western Cape and now, from these tapes, it is clear that the DA MEC Anton Bredell and the DA have deliberately attempted to capture certain officers in the Hawks.
As the ANC in the legislature we will:
1. Write to Premier Winde and provide the full dossier of evidence we have compiled and once again call on him to investigate Bredell and suspend him while the investigation is underway
2. Call on Premier Winde to suspend the Head of Local Government in the province, Mr Graham Paulse pending the investigation
3. Our ANC MPL and Shadow MEC for Local Government will write to the chairperson of the legislature portfolio committee to convene a public hearing on this matter and insist that former Premier Zille, Premier Winde, MEC Bredell, and the four provincial government officials be called to provide evidence to the committee
4. MPL Danville Smith will also write to the NCOP Portfolio committee chair to also convene a public hearing on this matter
5. As leader of opposition I will also write to the COGTA Minister, Dr Dlamini Zuma to launch an investigation into the conduct of MEC Bredell
6. Take legal advice on whether there is a basis to lay criminal charges against Bredell and the officials involved
7. Provide the full dossier of evidence to the Minister of Police, Minister Bheki Cele to investigate the conduct of the Hawks members involved in this matter
8. Provide the full dossier to the Head of the National Prosecuting Authority, Advocate Batoyi for her consideration
We remain committed to rooting out all forms of corruption in local government. It is critical that all investigations are conducted without fear or favour.
We are deeply concerned that the DA in this province has abused the machinery of the state to fight internal political battles within the DA, and in the process abused the Constitution, broken the code of Ethics for MEC’s and deliberately set out to capture the Hawks.
It is clear that the DA is losing political support across the province and that is why DA provincial Chairperson Anton Bredell, whose day job is MEC for Local Government is acting unlawfully in his desperation to protect the DA.
This is impacting negatively on the stability of local government in the province.
We will not rest until all these allegations and the evidence provided is fully investigated and acted upon.
We call on all committed public servants in the provincial government and municipal official’s level to come forward and share information about the corrupt and unethical conduct that continues unabated in the Western Cape. We extend our call to DA MPL’s and councillors to come forward or face the risk of being found to aid and abet such conduct.
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