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Whistle-blower accuses Theewaterskloof’s municipal official of irregular payments

Theewaterskloof Municipality offices. Picture: Supplied

Theewaterskloof Municipality offices. Picture: Supplied

Published Apr 4, 2023


Cape Town - A whistle-blower’s explosive affidavit accuses Theewaterskloof’s director for community services, Wilfred Solomons-Johannes, of allegedly misusing taxpayers’ money to pay for two ANC councillors’ flights to the party’s policy conference held in Joburg last year.

In an affidavit submitted to Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC, Anton Bredell, the whistle-blower charged that Solomons-Johannes authorised payments for the flights of two ANC councillors and an unexplained expenditure for a bodyguard.

She relied on an email that was sent to a consultancy firm, allegedly by Solomons-Johannes.

One of the councillors is with the Theewaterskloof Municipality, while the other works under the Overberg District Municipality.

Bredell’s spokesperson Wouter Kriel hadn’t responded at the time of writing, despite numerous attempts for a response about the complaint.

When the Cape Argus initially sent queries about the payments for the flight tickets, Solomons-Johannes, in an email seen by the Cape Argus, asked officials to “trace” the official who scanned the document, which contained the flight ticket.

The Cape Town-to-OR Tambo international airport flight tickets are dated July 28, which coincided with the day of the commencement of the ANC’s sixth national conference (held) from July 28 to 31 in Joburg.

In response to this publication’s queries, Solomons-Johannes denied the allegation and added that the “leak” is “irresponsible”.

“The Theewaterskloof Municipality reject the claims of paying for flights for ANC Councillors as alleged (sic),” he said.

“The person/s that leaked such documents is/are irresponsible, reckless and unethical, placing the lives of politicians and VIP officers at risk in light of the increased killings of councillors across the country.”

Pressed on whether he had any consideration for whistle-blowers, he said: “There is a distinct difference between the rights of a whistle-blowers/s and persons who leak information maliciously that are private, confidential and that contain personal, identity and security information which are against the POPI Act and punishable by law.”

He said the VIP officer was paid for in line with the payment of travel and subsistence for councillors and officials of the municipality as approved by council and in line with the tools of trade as prescribed under Section 15 (1) (g) of Government Gazette Notice No 475 (Gazette No 43246) dealing with the Determination of Upper Limits of Salaries, Allowances and Benefits of Different Members of Municipal Councils, made under the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers Act, No 20 of 1998.

He labelled the allegations as “false”, “unlawful and deliberate” to discredit the municipality.

“These wrongful allegations are rejected with the contempt it deserves (sic) and such person/s making such accusations must be prosecuted for wrongfully accusing the municipality and to tarnish the integrity of politicians and officials,” he said.

He was asked whether he had met regularly with the Hawks, as per information provided by sources.

He denied meeting the Hawks, but said there were “regular meetings with the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NatJoints) which comprises… State Security Agency (SSA), SAPS and SANDF, to assess the safety and security as well as the threats within the municipal area, to assess such threat levels to ensure that the safety of citizens is top priority ensuring that that law-enforcement agencies put measures in place with threats in the interest of national security”.

Quizzed whether there was a register for the meetings with NatJoints on who attended the meetings and whether the mayor Kallie Papier and municipal manager Boy Ngubo were present in these meetings, on line with the law, Solomons Johannes said: “These are state of national security matters and are classified.”