JEF responds to the Statement released by the Premier and DA leader Helen Zille, dated 22 February 2012.
This statement is sadly by far the most disappointing and disheartening one yet in recent times.
DA: Statement by Helen Zille, Democratic Alliance leader, on the municiplaity of Bitou (22/02/2012)
Published 22 Feb 2012 on Polity.org
I will be requesting a meeting with the Western Cape Police Commissioner, Arno Lamoer, to discuss the problem of politically-motivated violence perpetrated against the DA-governed Bitou municipality after the alleged arson at the council’s head offices in Plettenberg Bay in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Why didn’t Zille request such a meeting when much worse happened during the period when the ANC governed the municipality? Countless houses were burnt down, public and private property was destroyed, many people were seriously injured, and tragically a one year old baby lost its life in the “cross-fire”.
This follows the call last year by the ANC’s Southern Cape Regional Secretary, Putco Mapitisa, for all DA-led councils to be made ungovernable.
JEF googled this alleged “call” by Mr. Mapitisa but could not find it. Will Zille please provide proof of this?
The effects of this call were acute in the first few months of the new DA-led Bitou council’s term, with the municipality being forced to get a court interdict to stop the ANC from disrupting council meetings.
As a journalist by profession Zille should know that feeding the public with misleading and false information is a serious offence. She is fully aware of the fact that this interdict was dismissed with costs and that four declaratory orders were granted against the (then) speaker in favour of the ANC councilors and the Municipal Law Enforcement Unit. The Cape High Court found that he (the speaker) was in fact the cause of all the disruptions due to his partisan, unlawful and UNCONSTITUTIONAL conduct. The court further ruled that the speaker fundamentally misunderstood his role as speaker. Moreover, the speaker had to withdraw his ill conceived and frivolous application against the South African Police Force, wherein he falsely accused them of not fulfilling their duties in assisting the speaker in executing his (the speaker’s) commands.
Sunday’s fire was started in the wing where both the mayor and municipal manager’s offices are based. A window was broken and flammable liquid was poured into a ground floor office.
This part of the building was probably targeted due to the highly-flammable dry-wall petitions used in the offices. Extensive damage has been caused to the building, including smoke damage stretching some 50 metres down the corridors.
This is just the latest incident in the continuing trend of political violence in Bitou:
Criminal charges have been laid against local ANC leaders in Qolweni for demolishing shacks belonging to supporters of other parties and forcibly removing people from the area
This is a blatant lie. JEF was present when the defence attorney asked the accused to which political party they belong and their answers were 2 DA, 2 COPE and 1 ANC. JEF was present when the SABC asked the crowd outside the court to which political party they belong and the answers varied from all political parties, even the IFP! Afterwards some of them presented their DA membership cards and said that they want to return the R50 they allegedly received when they joined the DA.
Executive Mayor Memory Booysen has received numerous anonymous phone-calls by people referring to him as a “dog” and threatening to kill him. Mr Booysen currently is forced to wear a bulletproof-vest.
JEF is convinced that this is a complete fabrication. Accusations against the DA, describing in detail exactly how they manipulate the system has yet to be countered or denied by the DA. The statement above seems to be the standard default reply every time they are confronted with hard facts, to which they have no answer. It’s their trusted evading response and plea for sympathy in an attempt to shift the spot light from them. According to a member of the public the manipulation strategy works as follow: The municipality informs National Intelligence (NI) that new threats to the mayor’s life were received. They are fully aware that the standard practice in such a scenario is that NI instructs the local police that there are new threats to the mayor’s life and that they must carefully monitor the situation. The municipality then “inquires” from the local police the status of the safety situation, knowing full well that they will be informed that the latest “intelligence” received from NI is that the situation is extremely dangerous and that there is a real threat to the mayors life. This is then communicated to the public and the media, with the explanation that the R240 000-00 per month bill for body guards is completely justified and “out of their hands”. The following questions still remain unanswered:
1. Why the mayor’s Security Company was appointed without following the required competitive bidding system at the time he was appointed as mayor?
2. Why did the then speaker, Johann Brummer, appoint them when this is expressly prohibited in terms of the law?
3. Why hasn’t the municipality since then (in 8 months), advertised the tender in order to rectify their deviation as required by law?
4. Why did the mayor attempt to appoint the same security company, again without following due process, in order to protect the entire industrial area when the protest got out of hand, and on the tax payers tab?
Local business leaders have gone on record during a meeting with the council to say that the ANC ward councillor in Qolweni is actively involved in orchestrating the violence
Recently, security has been stepped up at the home of Deputy Mayor, Adam Van Ryhner, after death threats were received
Here are the facts:
1. At the meeting one business owner said that he witnessed a black woman carrying two tires to the N2, in broad day light, in full view of everyone, and that this woman arrogantly taunted them (in Afrikaans), by saying that they will now see what will happen to them. He then “identified” the women (to the best of his knowledge) as an ANC councilor and even stated her name (to the best of his capability). When the “more informed” people at the meeting heard this ludicrous accusation, they all chuckled and the meeting immediately moved on to the next topic, without wasting one second on this amusing, yet ridiculous statement.
2. However, reporter Janine Oelofse decided to report this “breaking news” to the public.
3. In order to give it a bit more credibility however, the following report appeared in the media “One businessman, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisal, said his workers had identified an ANC councillor carrying tyres to a barricade in the industrial area during last week’s violence”
4. How this “journalist” can still maintain that she is unbiased, and even more puzzling, how any respectable newspaper can still accept and publish her articles, remains a complete mystery.
5. Death threats against whom again? Please….
It is clear from recent events that the ANC is actively involved in attempting to make the council ungovernable. This campaign aims to use violence and fear to undermine the work of the elected DA-led council. The DA will not be deterred by attempts to stop us from delivering opportunities and better services for all the people where we govern.
I look forward to taking this matter up with Commissioner Lamoer before it spirals out of control and lives are lost
It is clear that Zille and the DA refuse to accept the naked truth which is staring them in the face, and would rather dismiss it as a political conspiracy, in order to avoid addressing these annoying, but unfortunately for them, real and crucial issues. Why can’t Zille realize that for as long as she dismisses these issues as trivial, they will never disappear?
There’s an old saying in Afrikaans: “‘n benoude kat maak benoude spronge…”