Former mayor of the Bitou Municipality, Memory Booysen was expelled from the ANC before joining the Democratic Alliance. File picture: David Ritchie
Former mayor of the Bitou Municipality, Memory Booysen was expelled from the ANC before joining the Democratic Alliance. File picture: David Ritchie

DA faces public violence claims

By CARYN DOLLEY Time of article published Feb 1, 2015

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Cape Town - New allegations have emerged in an eight-year-old case, now under fresh police investigation, that DA politicians orchestrated public violence to try to unseat the ANC in a southern Cape municipality.

Although the initial probe into these allegations found they were not substantiated, Independent Media has established that police recently asked top politicians, including Transport and Public Works MEC Donald Grant and Bitou Municipality mayor Memory Booysen, to provide them with information.

It has emerged that Brummer is now also embroiled in allegations relating to murder, corruption and drug dealing.

Chad Thomas, of IRS Forensic Investigations, who is probing several criminal cases, said: “I can confirm that Brummer is a person of interest in the sedition case along with several very senior provincial politicians and public office bearers.

This week Brummer and Booysen brushed off the allegations, denying involvement in any crimes.

Grant said he was “not losing any sleep” over the matter.

The basis of the police probe stems from 2007, when there was unrest in parts of the then-ANC-led Bitou Municipality.

During the outbreaks of violence, councillors were intimidated, their homes were burned, and council property was illegally occupied.

A sedition complaint was lodged with local police by attorney Hardy Mills, who represents a Plettenberg Bay civil rights organisation, the Justice and Equality Front.

Police previously probed the sedition case, but last year the National Prosecuting Authority announced it would not proceed with prosecuting anyone, because, among other things, the allegations were vague.

Independent Media understands that the docket was then closed, but more recently reopened for further investigation.

This week, Southern Cape police spokeswoman Captain Bernadine Steyn confirmed the sedition case was being probed. “We are not in the position to elaborate,” she said.

An affidavit, by a resident from a Plettenberg Bay informal settlement and obtained by Independent Media, details how politicians allegedly went about plotting the unrest. It said that about nine years ago there had been a sit-in at the municipality. About 19 people, including Brummer, were arrested.

“In the cells at the Knysna police station, a committee was formed which was led by Brummer. The committee was called the Anti-Corruption Campaign Committee.

“I was not arrested at that stage, because I was left purposefully outside to arrange things on the outside and to keep the momentum,” the affidavit said.

It said the campaign was “a front formed by” South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) mem-bers and others, including ratepayers.

The affidavit said three groups were involved in the matter – the Anti-Corruption Campaign Committee, Sanco and another group named Igumcedle.

“There was several unrest in the Bitou area orcastrated by these groups. Memory was organising the fundings for these groups, with Brummer and they were all times fully aware and part of all the strategies of civil unrest in order to make the town ungovernable and further more arranging resources to achieve these goals.”

The resident’s affidavit said he received about R4 000 from Brummer to fund the Anti-Corruption Campaign and other campaigns.

He said their first meeting was at Brummer’s home.

“The discussion was about exposing the corruption with the campaign. The aim was to get the people to think for themselves in order to undermine and get rid of the ANC-led council.

“The aim was through disrupted campaigns and civil unrest to make the town ungovernable.”

This week Brummer and Booysen rubbished the allegations, with both saying Mills, who had lodged the sedition complaint, was behind a campaign to settle scores with them.

Booysen said the revived police investigation was “a waste of State resources”.

Late last year police had approached him for information, which he had provided.

Booysen was previously expelled from the ANC – a 2007 press release from the party said it was because Booysen “did not carry out the instructions of the ANC in council.”

He then became an independent councillor representing the civil organisation Qina Mhlali Qina (QMQ), which he said had worked with the DA.

“I established QMQ. I had all the rights to fundraise. Donald (Grant) assisted me. It had nothing to do with riots,” Booysen said this week.

He went on to become a DA mayoral candidate and in 2011 became Bitou mayor.

Booysen said that, as mayor, he had relieved Mills, who was working for the municipality, of his duties to cut back on expenses.

“He’s now got an axe to grind with me,” Booysen said.

Brummer, who was previously dismissed from the DA for allegedly owing the party fees – a claim he disputed – accused Mills of working for the ANC and of pushing the sedition case against him as an act of revenge.

Brummer said his friends had brought damages claims against those making “defamatory statements” against him.

Weekend Argus

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