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Beaufort West Municipality divided by internal feud

Gideon Pietersen

Gideon Pietersen

Published May 12, 2022


CAPE TOWN - The Beaufort West Municipality council suspended three senior managers accused of misconduct during a special council meeting on Wednesday.

Director of Infrastructure Denwin van Turha, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Nomfundo Ntsangani as well as the Municipal Manager, Jackson Penxa were suspended after “failing” to make representations on why they should not be suspended.

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The Municipality said instead of making their representations, they gave mayor Gideon Pietersen “very arrogant letters”.

They also accused the officials of failing to comply and perform in terms of the financial recovery plan (FRP) approved by the Western Cape Government last month.

“The independent investigation will now be implemented. And then in 30 days council will sit again to decide if it is necessary to charge or not,” they said.

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Penxa said he will be consulting his legal team once again.

In a letter to the mayor, he urged the municipality to provide tangible evidence of the allegations.

“I am not guilty of any misconduct. I am at the municipality to do my work and the constant harassment is not only counter productive, but very unprofessional and a waste of tax payers money,” he cited.

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Van Turha said he will wait for the next step.

“The situation is unfortunate. I will wait for the next step,” he said.

Ntsangani declined to comment.

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In a letter to Pietersen, dated May 6, MEC for Local Government Anton Bredell requested the municipality to refrain from making any further decisions relating to the appointment or suspension of senior managers without affording him with sufficient notice.

“I furthermore reiterate that while I have not evaluated the veracity of the allegations of misconduct that the municipality has levelled against the senior managers, it is critical that I am meaningfully consulted before the municipality or municipal council takes any further decisions on the matter,” he said.

However the municipality accused Bredell of trying to “control” the municipality.

“Bredell wants to control the Municipality. We are a sphere of government and consultation does not mean we need his concurrence to make decisions. We are going to inform him of our decision,” they said.

Bredell spokesperson Wouter Kriel said: “We are currently liaising with our legal team, National Treasury and Provincial Treasury to determine the way ahead in the context of the Financial Recovery Plan.”

Community activist, Brian Jooste said he believes putting the municipality under administration was the only way forward.

“For too long has this town has been ran by political mandates that only benefit the ones who very close to politicians. I pray now that Minister Bredell will grant the communities wish to place the municipality under full administration. As the community we are already busy drafting an email to the minister, to tell him to go ahead with administration,“ he said.

Cape Times

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