The Herald (South Africa)

Back off, be fair – Danny's irate wife

Now Jordaan’s electricit­y accounts under scrutiny

- Rochelle de Kock

HIS tax returns, his eligibilit­y to vote and now his electricit­y bills have been scrutinise­d. Add to this the global Fifa bribery scandal and Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Danny Jordaan has in less than a month moved from being the city’s best export to South Africa’s most watched mayor.

His angry wife, Roxanne, lashed out at his detractors and the media this week, saying although she understood the spotlight on him, the reporting on her husband’s every move had been anything but fair.

“The spotlight is fine, but it must be fair. But if the spotlight burns your face then that is not fair,” she said.

“I’m concerned about how one’s private life becomes scrutinise­d in the public. Everything that’s written will be construed as if the man is a criminal. They’ve been through his taxes and now its his electricit­y account.”

This week the Weekend Post was shown documents which revealed that Jordaan had not been billed by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipali­ty for electricit­y usage at his Summerstra­nd home since 2007.

The documents show that although the figures from the electricit­y meter have not moved after it burnt out in 2007, the municipali­ty failed to pick this up and restore it until a month ago.

This, despite the fact that Amat – the company hired to clamp down on illegal connection­s – reported the problem to the municipali­ty in October last year.

Roxanne, who handles the family’s utility accounts, said she reported the problem to the municipali­ty a number of times over the years since she first discovered the meter was not moving.

Municipal spokesman Roland Williams confirmed the meter was reported and, because of the fault, no electricit­y charges were billed for the property from 2007 to 2015.

Roxanne, however, said a standing debit order which included electricit­y, water and other municipal charges had been going off their account every month for that period.

She said: “We’re aware that we have not been billed and we reported it to the municipali­ty a number of times over the years.

“Last year again, we reported it. About four months ago, someone from the municipali­ty told the man who works in our garden that the meter was not running.

“We were based in Johannesbu­rg, so we were not at home, but we told the gardener that when they come again they must fix the meter.

“I called the municipali­ty last month again to fix the meter and it was fixed. I asked if it was my problem or the municipali­ty’s and the man said it was the municipali­ty’s problem because the wires at the back of the meter had burnt and the municipali­ty should’ve replaced it,” Roxanne said.

Williams said: “In such cases, when no electricit­y is charged as a result of a faulty meter, the municipali­ty makes a calculatio­n for the period of no charge, based on a three-month average. The calculatio­n also takes into account the various tariff increases

over the period in question.

“At the time of responding to you, this calculatio­n was still being made. Once this calculatio­n has been made, it will be officially communicat­ed to the customer.”

DA caucus leader councillor Retief Odendaal said he had seen the account and was adamant that no one had reported the broken meter.

“[I] can confirm that no one has lodged any queries with regard to the temporary supply on this account over the last seven years. If a complaint or inquiry is logged on an account, this informatio­n is normally reflected on the system.

“People in leadership posi- tions have a responsibi­lity to ensure that their municipal accounts are up to date. When individual­s with the financial means of our executive mayor/ president of Safa refuse to pay the municipali­ty for services rendered, it deprives indigent individual­s of opportunit­ies to qualify for free basic services.

“It is immoral and is nothing less than the rich stealing from the poor,” Odendaal said.

He said he would refer the matter to the municipal public accounts committee for investigat­ion.

Jordaan has hogged the headlines in recent weeks, ever since he was named the Bay’s first citizen.

Soon after the ANC announced him as its mayoral candidate, a disgruntle­d faction of the ANC said it was investigat­ing whether or not he was a registered voter, in a bid to discredit him as a suitable candidate for the job.

Athol Trollip, the DA’s federal chairman, who has his hopes pinned on being mayor if the DA wins next year’s local government elections, has been at the forefront of the attacks on Jordaan, writing scathing letters to media across the country accusing him of delaying the municipali­ty’s budget and of hiding from the public in light of the Fifa bribe scandal.

ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa defended Jordaan in The Herald, Weekend Post’s sister daily, saying: “Danny’s name is not even on the FBI indictment. Danny is not a loudhailer like Trollip. Comrade Danny has substance.”

Media have been lining up, demanding Jordaan answer whether or not he was involved in what the FBI claims was a bribe paid to secure the 2010 World Cup.

Although not named in the FBI indictment, Jordaan has been placed at the forefront of the saga as he was the head of the 2010 bid committee and chief executive of Safa at the time.

Jordaan’s wife said everyone deserved respect for their privacy and fair treatment by the media.

“If what goes into the media is what drives a person to jump off a bridge, that reporter must take responsibi­lity,” she said.

 ??  ?? STANDING BY HER MAN: Roxanne Jordaan and husband Danny, whose every move has been scrutinise­d over the past few weeks
STANDING BY HER MAN: Roxanne Jordaan and husband Danny, whose every move has been scrutinise­d over the past few weeks

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