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Drakenstein mayor accused of corruption

Drakenstein mayor Conrad Poole.

Drakenstein mayor Conrad Poole.

Published Aug 24, 2023


Drakenstein municipality speaker Koos Le Roux has confirmed a probe into allegations of corruption levelled against mayor Conrad Poole.

This after the GOOD party wrote to the municipality requesting an investigation into allegations that Poole was involved in a pay-for-jobs scheme.

GOOD party Drakenstein councillor Keagen Gerste said the DA had failed to be transparent on the allegations against Poole.

"Sources have revealed that Poole is facing allegations of a pay-for-jobs scheme. Members of his executive are reportedly paying a monthly kickback to the mayor himself. One of the MMCs is accused of spending thousands of rand to fund a private wedding for Poole’s family.

“Poole and and his executive oversee a R3.4 billion budget, it is imperative that we confirm their hands are clean.

“These allegations are not tabled against any ordinary member of the party, they are levelled against the mayor of the Western Capes's second-biggest municipality. The DA is fully accountable to the residents of Drakenstein and should take the people into its confidence by stating if the mayor is currently undergoing an investigation into a pay-for-jobs scheme. The DA's processes do not supersede its responsibility towards the people of Drakenstein,“ Gertse said.

The allegations were referred to Le Roux, who said he would be investigating the matter.

Poole declined to comment, referring questions to the DA in the province. DA provincial leader Tertuis Simmers said they were aware of the allegations.

“The DA in the Western Cape believes in good, clean governance and takes any allegations against DA members seriously. We are aware of GOOD's allegations against Drakenstein mayor, Conrad Poole. Internal party processes require a formal complaint, not a media statement based on hearsay, to consider the way forward.

“Where there are current internal party processes under way, the nature and content thereof remains internal in order to protect the member's rights and the integrity of party processes,” he said.

ANC councillor Moutie Richards said they were shocked but not surprised by the allegations of corruption levelled against the mayor.

“The ANC Drakenstein Caucus will now request the Speaker of council to call a special council meeting to discuss this matter involving the executive mayor and members of his executive. We demand that the Speaker suspend the mayor and all mayoral committee members implicated with immediate effect,” he said.

Political analyst Sipho Seepe said while the concerns by other parties about how the DA handled allegations of corruption may be real, the DA was correct to subject its members to due process.

“Equally important is that it treat its members or anyone as innocent until they are proven guilty. It is possible that the DA may not uphold the above when it involves members of other parties. That is, however, no good reason to undermine the processes of natural justice.”

Cape Times

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