Cape Town - The ANC in the province has called on the City to suspend its ward 23 councillor, Nora Grose, until allegations of misappropriation of funds against her involving R171 778 has been settled in court.
The Good Party has at the same time criticised the City for allegedly paying for her legal fees, despite the DA successfully challenging the government for paying former President Jacob Zuma’s fees.
Grose is alleged to have requested the money be transferred to Life Changers’ Church account, and misappropriating City of Cape Town funds.
The sub-council chairperson of Atlantis is currently out on R10 000 bail after appearing in court for a second time on Friday.
In a statement on Monday, the ANC said the charges against Grose are not “phony charges” but serious, and if proven and upheld by the Atlantis Magistrate’s Court, could see a stiff sentence handed down.
“We look forward to the resumption of Grose’s trial on July 30 and we are confident that SAPS will thoroughly investigate this matter. Justice must be done, not only as far as non-DA members are concerned but most certainly in the case of members of a party that faithfully follows the double standard of others being prosecuted and its members getting off scot-free.
“We note that the City of Cape Town will conduct internal investigations but we do not trust them as they're not capable of conducting independent and impartial investigations.
“We reiterate our demand that Councillor Grose must step down until this matter has been settled in court,” read the statement.
Good Party general-secretary Brett Herron said that when politicians are required to defend actions taken in the official execution of their duties, then they are entitled to have their costs paid by taxpayers or ratepayers. However, this does not extend to defending alleged criminal activities, as the Constitutional Court recently ruled in respect of former President Jacob Zuma in a matter brought by the DA.
“It has subsequently come to light that the City is not only picking up Grose’s legal tab, but also the costs of private bodyguards who were seen accompanying her to court. The bodyguards are apparently provided by the so-called city’s ‘anti-land invasion’ security services company, Red Ants,” he said.
Commenting on the call for Grose’s suspension, City’s speaker Felicity Purchase said the City has done an investigation and all monies have been accounted for and no improper actions have been found.
“The party to which councillor Grose belongs will deal with the facts and manage its own processes; this is not done via the office of the Speaker.
“In law, one is innocent until proven guilty, and as such my office awaits the presentation by the Hawks of their case, which to date, has not been done.”
The City and DA did not comment on the alleged footing of Grose's legal fees by deadline on Monday.
Meanwhile, George Municipality councilor Stag Cronjé’s said he welcomed MEC of Local Government Anton Bredell upholding an appeal against a guilty finding and fine in relation to charges brought against him in connection with George Municipal funds invested with Old Mutual.
Cronje said in a statement: “The minister’s finding does me no more than justice and confirms that all the wrongful accusations in this unjust affair are ab initio null and void, I should never have been charged at all.’’