Cape Town - Knysna Municipality has remained tight-lipped following MEC of Local Government Anton Bredell’s appointment of a committee to investigate breaches of the code of conduct.
Bredell seeks to investigate six municipal appointments made in the last year.
The DA had approached the Western Cape High Court for immediate relief following the appointments, saying they were made without any due process, and at an unbudgeted cost of R3 million per annum.
Bredell said in light of the number of councillors that had been implicated, he was advised that it would be inappropriate for the municipality to establish a special committee of the municipal council to conduct an investigation.
“Given that all those implicated would have to recuse themselves to avoid conflicts of interest, the municipal council itself would not have sufficient members to form a quorum to establish a special committee or to make a decision following on any such investigation in accordance with item 16(2) of the Code,” he said.
“In the circumstances, to avoid the adverse implications associated with an actual, or even potential, conflict of interest, I have found it justified to exercise my powers under item 16(5)-(8) of the Code and appoint an independent committee to investigate the alleged breach of the Code and to make recommendations to me on the appropriate remedial action and/or sanctions in terms of sub-item 16(2) of the Code.”
He said the committee comprises an advocate of the Cape Bar and an independent forensic investigator.
“The committee is independent, impartial, and will at all times conduct the investigation in a lawful and procedurally fair manner.
“All persons implicated in the judgment will be afforded an opportunity to engage with the committee on its findings before the committee makes a recommendation to me on any appropriate remedial actions or sanctions,” Bredell added.
Knysna municipal manager, Ombali Sebola said: “The municipality acknowledges the notice from the MEC.
“However, we cannot comment on the matter.
“The contents of the notice have been communicated to councillors, and municipal officials.”