KNYSNA NEWS - A community organisation, Hornlee United, has not only laid a complaint with Knysna Municipality but also plans to the Public Protector soon, after what they have described as the "dragging of feet" with regard to taking action relating to an explosive report that suggests former mayor Eleanore Bouw-Spies be criminally charged.
The report, which was compiled by independent law firm De Swardt Vogel Myambo Attorneys and presented to council on 4 September last year, involved damaging allegations against former municipal manager Kam Chetty and recommended that Bouw-Spies be criminally charged.
Addressing 15 allegations against Chetty including misconduct and fraud, the report also recommended that action be taken against Bouw-Spies as Chetty's immediate superior.
After her being implicated in fraud, it was resolved that council consider disciplinary proceedings against Bouw-Spies in terms of Schedule 1 of the Code of Conduct for Councillors.
After the council meeting the matter was referred directly to Western Cape MEC for local government Anton Bredell's office.
When following up with Bredell's office over progress, Knysna-Plett Herald was told the matter had been referred back to the municipality to follow correct protocols.
"It is advised that in a letter dated 10 April 2019 in response to the referral by the (then) Speaker (Georlene Wolmarans), the minister informed the Speaker that the relevant provisions as contained in the Code of Conduct for Councillors (Schedule 1) of the Municipal Systems Act, had to be adhered to before the matter may be referred to the minister as contemplated in the code.
At this stage, any further enquiries relating to the progress by the municipal council in respect hereof should be referred to the office of the Speaker, Knysna Municipality," Bredell's spokesperson James-Brent Styan said.
Knynsa-Plett Herald then followed up with Wolmarans through telephonic communication as well as email corre-spondence, but no response was forth-coming. An enquiry was also sent to municipal manager Dr Sitembele Vatala, but he too did not respond before going to print.
Since the enquiry, Wolmarans has been removed as Speaker after a motion of no confidence in her succeeded last week.
In the meantime, community organisation Hornlee United has laid an official complaint with the municipality regarding the issue.
"No action has been taken against Bouw-Spies following the recommendations contained in the report. We have therefore laid a complaint and will be going to the Public Protector by the end of the week. We are just waiting for an appointment," Hornlee United convener Ralph Stander said.
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