Cape Town – The DA has thrown its weight behind Human Settlements MEC Tertius Simmers amid electricity theft allegations.
DA spokesperson Odetta Cason said the party believed in the rule of law and Simmers had never been found guilty of electricity theft by any court, the George Municipality or the DA’s internal disciplinary processes.
This followed a statement by former DA councillor, now GOOD party secretary Brett Herron, that the DA leadership in the Western Cape ignored evidence that Simmers was guilty of electricity theft while serving as a DA councillor in George.
Herron said instead of being held accountable, Simmers was first promoted to the provincial parliament as an MPL and later became part of Premier Alan Winde’s much-heralded “government of higher integrity”.
Simmers refuted the allegations, saying that the matter was fully investigated in 2016 and found to be spurious.
“I reported the tampering to the George Municipality. To this day we still do not know who paid for the fine. There is clear malicious intent on the part of Mr Herron and I will, therefore, be seeking legal advice,” said Simmers.
He said it was unsurprising that a few weeks after the GOOD Party lost in a by-election in George, that this old matter was resurfacing.
Herron said DA members confirmed that prima facie evidence of alleged theft by Simmers was discovered and brought to the attention of the DA’s provincial leadership.
“In 2018 the complaint was apparently referred by the provincial leadership to the DA’s Provincial Disciplinary Committee, but the committee did not act because it was awaiting the outcome of a police investigation.
"Although the allegation that Simmers stole electricity was reported to the George police, the investigation appears to have ground to a halt after the DA George Council amended the Meter Tampering Policy so as to prevent officials from reporting electricity theft to the police for investigation,” said Herron.
Police spokesperson Malcolm Pojie said: “The case was withdrawn by the National Prosecuting Authority during July 2017. The case is therefore regarded as being finally closed.
"We are not at liberty to confirm or reveal the identity of the person(s) involved as no one was arrested nor charged.”