by Andrew Louw – DA Northern Cape Premier Candidate
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Date: 30 November 2018
The futile attempts from Sol Plaatje to defend indefensible acts of wrongdoing is further evidence that the failing ANC does not think of corruption as a sin.
Sol Plaatje’s spokesperson, Sello Matsie, attempts to deflect from the latest scandal surrounding the acting municipal manager, Ruth Sebolecwe, by pretending that we have our facts wrong. We stand by our statement of 29 November, because we have documents that shows her son is appointed as a human resources administrator in the EPWP office in Ritchie, that he claimed benefits to which he was not legally entitled and that his contract was routinely renewed despite questionable performance.
Since Ms Sebolecwe’s own appointment as acting municipal manager and the extension of her contract is highly questionable, it is clear that irregular HR practices have become the norm at the municipality.
Perhaps it should therefore come as no surprise that Mr Matsie as mouthpiece of the ANC-led municipality sees nothing wrong with corrupt employment practices.
His defense of the misconduct and maladministration has shown that he is increasingly becoming a champion of corrupt deeds taking place. If he is complicit in these corrupt activities, whether by committing them or condoning them in the public eye, we will be left with no other option but to also pursue action against him.
If there is indeed a police investigation underway, as Mr Matsie claims, it does not prevent Ms Sebolecwe from showing remorse for her misuse of power and removing herself from a position she is unfit to hold.
We do not claim that Mr Sebolecwe is an EPWP worker, as Mr Matsie contends. It is understandable that Mr Matsie would want to mislead the public, because EPWP workers had to go on their knees for the municipality to grant a meagre increase and because there is ongoing unhappiness about co-ordinators in the Mayoral Cleaning Project earning far more than ordinary EPWP workers. The ANC-led administration just cannot risk that more questions are now being asked about the differences in wages being paid to different people involved in the EPWP offices or EPWP projects.
Of course, Mr Matsie has had to resort to deceit before to justify criminal misconduct at the municipality.
The provincial chairperson of the ANC, Zamani Saul, and buddy of former Executive Mayor Mangaliso Matika was allowed to run up a municipal account of more than R145 000. When it was revealed that Saul does not have to pay his account while indigent grannies have their power disconnected if they owe so much as R100, Mr Matsie fell over his feet in his rush to describe the account as a ‘billing error’ and to slam its dissemination on social media.
After the DA laid criminal charges earlier this year relating to the abuse of funds in the hosting of the Flamingo Park Race, Mr Matsie was quick to pretend that the municipality had nothing to do with the event and categorically denied that any money was paid over. These denials fall flat in the face of the involvement of two municipal employees with the relevant events management company, the documented council resolutions to fund the event with R300 000 and to attract sponsors for the event, the reports naming the municipality as a partner in the event and the recognition of municipal support by way of naming a race after the municipality. Adverts for the event and descriptions of the various hospitality packages were also prominently displayed on the municipal website. Other events hosted in the municipality by entrepreneurs without the right friends in the ANC just does not seem to attract the same level of support from the municipality.
If one wishes to speak the truth at all times, it is difficult to the justify corruption and self-enrichment that the ANC likes so much.
Ultimately, the creation of closed networks of cronies and cadres oppresses ordinary residents. We see every day that unemployment and poverty increases, in direct correlation with how much the ANC steals from our people.
It is time for a DA-led change which can uproot corruption and clean its stink from the city that used to sparkle.