Public Protector finds Cape MEC Anton Bredell acted unethically
Cape Town - Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has found Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell violated the Executive Ethics Code following an investigation by her office.
A complaint against Bredell was lodged by the ANC’s leader in the provincial legislature Cameron Dugmore on February 19, 2020.
Dugmore alleged that Bredell, in his capacity as provincial chairperson of the DA, addressed a letter on May 8, 2018, to the acting executive mayor, the Speaker, the Chief Whip and the DA caucus chairperson of the George municipality instructing them not to proceed with the appointment of a senior official of the George municipality, until permission was granted by the DA federal executive.
The appointment was for the corporate services director at the George municipality which had singled out two candidates, one black candidate and the other white.
Mkhwebane found the allegation made by Dugmore to be substantiated, and Bredell’s actions “improper” and in violation of the Executive Ethics Code.
“The allegation that the MEC’s conduct in this regard was improper and constitutes a breach of the Executive Ethics Code, is also substantiated. The Constitution and the Executive Ethics Code oblige members of the executive to conform to the prescribed ethical standards at all times, irrespective of the capacity in which they perform their actions. They are expected to always behave in an exemplary and ethical manner, whether performing their official functions or not, and in whatever capacity,” read the report findings.
Following the release of Mkhwebane's findings, the ANC in the Western Cape demanded that Premier Alan Winde remove Bredell from the provincial executive, and also calling the matter to be debated in the legislature.
“It is important to expose Bredell and the DA Federal Council in the George situation were not only illegally interfering in a municipal appointment process, but actually sought to undermine employment equity. This is nothing but racism,” said Dugmore in a statement.
“Bredell and the DA cannot be allowed to escape sanction for the clear perpetuation of racism and their attempts to appoint party loyalists over competent and qualified applicants … What we see happening is blatant abuse and manipulation of public office, racism, cronyism and corruption by the DA.”
Premier Alan Winde’s acting spokesperson, Odette Cason, said he had received the report. Cason also commented on behalf of Bredell’s office.
“The Premier, with the province’s legal team, are in the process of scrutinising the 26-page report to consider the contents thereof and we will be issuing a statement in due course. What is already clear, though, is that the extent of the remedial action requested is limited to providing a report to the Western Cape Provincial Legislature, with comments from the Premier of the Western Cape, if any.”
Carson added: “It is, therefore, abundantly clear that Dugmore is desperately trying to conjure up unsubstantiated and unfounded allegations, and is sensationalising the actual findings of the report.
“He is also suggesting remedial action that has not been determined reasonable or necessary by the Public Protector in her report. While this is disappointing, it is not surprising conduct from the ANC. We urge the media to read the actual findings and recommendations of the report,” Cason said.
The full report can be seen below: