George a red card
A late item on the possible suspension of Botha was withdrawn at the council meeting on 9 May. According to information, the George council refuses to suspend
Botha before the Hawks conclude their investigation.
George Speaker Gerrit Pretorius told the George Herald that they are not investigating allegations against Botha and therefore suspension is not being considered. He said the George Municipality hasn't received any written notice on being placed under administration, and referred to the process that needs to take place for such measures. Botha hadn’t responded to enquiries by the time of going to print.
Investigation on the move
Meanwhile, Captain Philani Nkwalase, spokesperson of the Hawks, said the investigation is receiving the necessary attention from their commercial crime unit. "The investigation is ongoing. When the time is right we will issue a statement, and of course name and shame the perpetrators," he said.
DA Regional Chairperson Jaco Londt said the Regional Executive Committee's request for the suspension of the mayor, as well as Naik's response, will be considered at the next Provincial Executive Committee meeting scheduled for 21 May. Naik is currently on leave until 25 May.
"What's happening in George is not acceptable in any way and needs to be corrected as soon as possible," said
Londt. "All the councillors in the George Municipality, irrespective of party affiliation, should do what is expected of them in terms of the relevant legislation to act against the MM and the mayor. The councillors' actions or inaction will then be escalated as is required."
According to a trustworthy source, eight DA councillors are also “applying their minds”, and are considering a hook-up with opposition parties to take over Council. Apparently, some of the councillors are implicated in the investigation. "George is becoming like Oudtshoorn before 2013," said the source.
ANC chief whip Nomawethu Jantjies confirmed that the ANC has already placed a motion of no confidence in the mayor, deputy mayor (Charlotte Clarke) and speaker.
A Special Council Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday 29 May, to table the 2018/2019 budget, with a general council meeting on Thursday 31 May.
Minister of Transport Donald Grant (right), and the DA’s leader in the Western Cape, Bonginkosi Madikizela. Grant said his colleague, Anton Bredell, has “applied his mind” and decided to place George under administration.