ANC WC Statement on DA and ID officials asleep at the wheel in Drakenstein

ANC WC Statement on DA and ID officials asleep at the wheel in Drakenstein

21 August 2007

The fact that Dr Sidima Kabanyane, the suspended Manager of the Drakenstein Municipality is today back at his desk demonstrates that the DA/ID Mayoral Committee has acted improperly and outside of the law.

The June 25, 30 day suspension of Sidima Kabenyane, was carried out when council was in recess and without due and proper process. The Executive Mayor, Koos Louw was on holiday in Canada and the suspension letter was signed by Deputy Mayor, Wilhelm Notnagel without him having the delegated authority to do so. The matter was only tabled, as the law requires, in council on 16 July.

The suspension required that Dr Kabenyane be brought before a disciplinary hearing within a 30-day period. This did not take place. This is why Dr Kabanyane is now back in his office. David Delaney, the person appointed as acting Municipal Manager cannot be paid for the period between June 25 and July 16, because he was not properly appointed. Letters threatening to suspend Mr Khaya Mrali the HOD of Corporate Services have not been followed up.

The report of a firm of management consultants, appointed outside of the prescripts of supply chain management law and paid for from the public purse, has not been made available to councillors. This too is improper. The report has not been made available. But it is an open secret that the report apparently concludes that the Mayco actions were improper. In any case the actions of the council in failing to institute disciplinary proceedings within the prescribed period are a clear admission of wrongdoing.

ANC Provincial Secretary Mcebisi Skwatsha said today,

"It is bad enough that the DA/ID coalition undertook a purge of suitably qualified and experienced black management in the Municipality. But they also did so outside of the prescripts of the law. Worse still, the fact that they have not followed through their own process, which has meant that Dr Kabenyane is now back at his post, demonstrates a cavalier and callous disregard for due process and the labour law, which protects duly appointed officials.

"In addition four councillors have been arbitrarily charged with alleged breaches of the code of conduct. The four were not notified of the charges, not given an opportunity to respond and were notified of the matter when they read the agenda of Council meeting of 16 July.

"DA Mayco member, Councillor Johan Visser has a material conflict of interest since he holds responsibility for the Rural Development portfolio and acts in a private capacity for farmers with respect to evictions of farm workers and in land claim issues.

"This follows on a public apology from the Speaker of the George Municipality, made at a meeting with the joint NCOP/Provincial Legislature delegation, for serious mistakes of governance in that municipality.

‘The ANC calls for the full reinstatement of Dr Kabanyane. In addition it is necessary that the Provincial Government provide capacity support to enable councils to act within the law and due process.

For further information contact:
Garth Strachan 083 454 6667
Sivuyile Mbambato 073 897 8519