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Cape Town - Community activist Colin Arendse is to lodge a complaint of misconduct with the Western Cape Legislature Speaker, Richard Majola, after outgoing Public Works and Transport MEC Robin Carlisle called him an “a******” in an e-mail exchange.
Arendse wrote to Carlisle on Saturday accusing Carlisle of illegally awarding tenders to Filcon Projects – a company which received government tenders before filing for liquidation earlier this month. Arendse made reference to a newspaper article earlier this month.
After several exchanges, Carlisle addressed Arendse: “Dear A******. Check the article. I never said that. Regards.” He ended the e-mail by referring to himself as “Minister” as opposed to MEC.
This was taken up by Arendse in his retaliation: “Your belligerent, crass and arrogant retort below is out of keeping with the oath of office that you took when being sworn in as an MPL. You are an embarrassment to our nation.”
Contacted on Tuesday, Arendse said he felt aggrieved by the remark, particularly because Carlisle had used the term in his official capacity.
Carlisle, however, said he would stand by his remark and only apologise when Arendse retracted derogatory comments against him.
Carlisle said he had received several derogatory and untrue remarks in e-mails from Arendse “for a number of years”.
“If Mr Arendse would withdraw the untrue and insulting things he said about me, the DA and my department, I will happily withdraw what I said to him,” Carlisle said.
“I trust that Mr Arendse is aware that by taking this matter into the public arena, he opens himself to defamation claims from the DA, Filcon and myself. I had never heard of Filcon until it applied to court for assistance in its financial affairs.”
He said that while any tender should be open to public scrutiny, there had not been “one single tender award” in his department that had been found to be corrupt or irregular.
Carlisle said Arendse should approach the government’s Special Investigating Unit and the Hawks if he believed there were irregularities with tender processes. The ANC is set to hold a press briefing on the “Filcon Project scandal” with contractors, suppliers and community groups on Wednesday.