by Isak Fritz MPL – DA Constituency Head of Hantam
Error! Filename not specified.
Date: 13 April 2018
The DA is calling for the tyrannical leadership of the Hantam Municipality to be investigated by COGHSTA MEC, Bentley Vass.
This comes after two DA ward councillors, who dared to take a firm stand against the bullying tactics of the Mayor, Roger Swartz, and his nephew, Jannie Swartz, who also happens to be the Municipal Manager (MM), are being unfairly victimized by the duo.
Both DA councillors, Gizella Opperman and Jeannette-Anne Steenkamp, face the threat of being expelled from Council on the basis of not attending council meetings. This is despite both of them having received a formal notification from the MM stating that they may not attend council meetings due to pending criminal cases that they opened against the Mayor.
Regardless of the notification, the Mayor has now threatened to expel the councillors if they miss another council meeting.
It is clear that the Mayor and the MM have a vendetta against the DA councillors and that they are trying to intimidate Opperman and Steenkamp, probably in the hope that they will drop the charges against the Mayor.
Opperman laid a charge of crimen injuria against the Mayor after he called her a liar and violently shouted and swore at her in the Hantam municipal offices on Monday, 19 March 2018. Opperman is pregnant, and should not be subjected to such stressful situations. The Mayor is aware of this. He also knows that two years ago she suffered a miscarriage of the twins she was carrying and that she should be treated with the utmost care, not with contempt. In respect of this charge, the Mayor is due to appear in the Loeriesfontein Magistrates court on Tuesday, 17 April 2018.
Steenkamp meanwhile laid a charge of assault against the Mayor after he hit her on the back during the same tirade in which he verbally attacked Opperman. In this regard, the Mayor is due to appear in the Niewoudtsville Magistrates Court on Tuesday, 24 April 2018.
The DA will appeal to MEC Vass to investigate the behavior of the Swartzs, who are playing a menacing game of cat and mouse with Opperman and Steenkamp. Their behavior is most unbecoming and unprofessional and they should be disciplined for jeopardizing the careers of two hard working public representatives. The Mayor should further be taken on for his aggressive outburst that is in direct contravention of government’s campaign against violence against women.
The DA will await the outcome of the two criminal cases against Mayor Swartz before taking further action against him. The DA will not tolerate the repression of DA councillors who are unfairly being prevented from doing the jobs that they were elected to do.
Isak Fritz MPL
DA Constituency Head of Hantam
083 395 2737
Shelley De Witt
082 847 1387