Trevor Botha Photo: African News Agency (ANA)
Trevor Botha Photo: African News Agency (ANA)

DA's decision to suspend George municipal manager questioned

By Dominic Adriaanse Time of article published Nov 18, 2019

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Cape Town – Opposition parties in George have questioned a decision by the DA council to suspend municipal manager Trevor Botha and another senior official.

Botha and director of protection services Steven Erasmus were, during a council meeting on Friday, suspended on precaution for 60 days following allegations of financial misconduct and/or transgressions of the disciplinary code.

George municipality spokesperson Chantel Edwards-Klose said: “George executive mayor Melvin Naik confirmed that following a special council meeting, the municipal manager and director of protection services have been placed on precautionary suspension with immediate effect to allow for the investigation of allegations submitted by a George councillor.”

The municipality said several ongoing investigations are taking place at the George municipality, including a forensic investigation ordered by MEC Anton Bredell.

The council still has to appoint an independent disciplinary board to deal with the latest case regarding Botha and Erasmus.

Plaaslike Besorgde Inwoners (PBI) leader Virgill Gericke said they considered the investigation a witch-hunt and questioned the DA caucus decision.

“The mayor was obliged to bring the matter before the council but there is no reason for this to be dealt with in council when an ongoing investigation had not been concluded. 

"We question this entire matter as it raises serious suspicions as to why the MEC would impose himself on the processes of the administration, other than it being malicious and intentional,” he said.

ANC chief whip in George Nomawethu Jantjies said: “Unlike in many other instances of alleged corruption this time instant action was taken in order for the council to act, although nothing in the reports tabled to council substantiates the changes. We questioned the haste to deal with this matter.”

George DA constituency head Geordin Hill-Lewis said there had been instability in George, with lots of allegations and counter-allegations and it was only fair that the officials who are under investigation are suspended.

Hill-Lewis declined to comment on what he called “idle speculation”.

Bredell’s spokesperson James Brent-Styan said the department was still busy with its investigation and would not make any further comment until that has been completed.

Cape Times

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