DA out of control in Bitou - Kenny Leluma

Letter from former political advisor to ANC Mayor to WCape Premier, Helen Zille

Open letter from Kenny Leluma to the Premier of the Western Cape, Helen Zille:

Dear Ms Zille

Under other circumstances I would have sent this to your office. I have had a fair share of bad publicity and staying away from the hawkish eye of the media could do me some good. Unfortunately there's no other way of letting you know that some things that are being said and done by your party are not going well down my throat.

You see, Madam Zille, there is no disputing that your party is a darling of the media and anybody who dares to say anything negative about the party of the saints risks the wrath of almost the entire print media. Anyway life is by definition a risk and we can't run away from it. So, I'm taking this risk.

Congratulations for achieving yet another unqualified audit in your administration. Your MEC for Finance & Economic Development, Alan Winde remarked that you "take these results extremely serious as they are the most reliable indicator of how we are managing taxpayer's money entrusted to us for service delivery." I also concur with Derek Luyt of Public Service Monitor that good financial management doesn't equate to good service delivery.

In 2007, Kwanokuthula went up in flames after the DA alleged that the ANC administration had institutionalised corruption at Bitou Municipality. Despite pleas that the DA must submit proof to the police for further investigation, no evidence was ever brought to the fore.

On the other hand the ANC in Bitou committed to achieve and instil a culture of clean audits within three years from 2006. The clean audit was achieved within two years, and all subsequent years returned same results. The same body that audits your administration audited the Bitou municipality, using the same tools. Your refusal therefore to accept the audit results of Bitou has been nothing but hypocrisy.

Bitou municipality under the ANC delivered high quality drinking water, and for two successive years the quality of our drinking water was rated third highest in the country after Johannesburg and Cape Town. In fact we were on course to eclipse Cape Town in this regard. Refuse removal was collected everyday as per schedule. We provided reliable electricity to all.  And the programme to tar every street in the townships was on schedule to be completed by 2012.

It was the ANC that brought Red Door nearer to the people. It was the DA that closed the office, claiming unfunded mandate without resolving people's problems to access services by the agency. So, on service delivery, the DA couldn't claim that the ANC failed.

In the absence of credible attack on service delivery history, you opted to what is fashionable in politics, perception. You started making unsubstantiated allegations that everything and anything ANC is corrupt. That strengthened darling status with the gullible media and some sections of our community.

The DA incited hatred against the ANC by claiming wide scale and supported corruption in Bitou. You went further by claiming that Bitou was bankrupt. To date, and six years later, you have never proved any of the two.

As you persisted with allegations that the municipality is bankrupt, the CFO of the municipality took an unprecedented action of issuing a public statement refuting claims by the DA in this regard. I've heard that you are planning to suspend and dismiss him for telling the truth.

While you are still trying to find proof of corruption you first claimed in 2005, the DA councillors have become a law unto themselves. They are involved in procurement. The appointment of a security company and the shortlisting of the companies for the running of the airport are but just two examples.

But you didn't end up there. The Speaker of the council, Johan Brummer has his girlfriend as a Personal Assistant. She gives instructions to officials and everybody is cowed lest they offend the ruthless Brummer. You will remember that in 2009 a senior advocate found that Brummer was not fit to be a councillor. You declined to remove him because as a highly trained apartheid covert operative his skills were needed to for your Kwanokuthula Project. 

You then rewarded his covert activities by appointing him The Speaker of the council. He immediately demanded that everybody must toe the line or face his brutality. When he failed to intimidate the ANC councillors, he went to court to seek validation of his autocratic behaviour. The High Court ruled in favour of the ANC councillors and he was ordered to pay costs of the case. This is about R1,2m that must be paid by the ratepayers. 

A few weeks ago, the DA issued a public statement vowing that the ANC councillors will bear the costs of this case which was initiated by Brummer. The court has found that the ANC councillors behaved well and that the municipality must pay not only Brummer's costs but also those of the ANC councillors. Will the DA foot the bill, or will a financier be found to help out? After all, you always tell us about the benevolent acts of big business to help you ‘fix' Bitou.

I have also noted that your Anton Bredell said that he'll await the very council that lost the case to analyse it and advise if he could resume investigations against ANC councillors. We all know that you are going to ignore the court ruling and find another way to try to remove ANC councillors. We also know that you'll have the media behind you, but rest assured that this is one war you will never win. You'll have the might of the partisan media on your side and abuse ratepayers' purse; we will have the insatiate appetite for truth and justice.

Kenny Leluma

Kenny Leluma was political advisor to the former ANC executive mayor of Bitou

Click here to sign up to receive our free daily headline email newsletter