Stellenbosch Municipality Dodging Public Scrutiny Over Property Deals

GOOD statement by Christie Noble, GOOD Stellenbosch Municipality Councillor

21 June 2022

The GOOD party is concerned about attempts by the Stellenbosch Municipality to conceal from the public what is really going on with its property deals debacle.

Last week GOOD submitted a motion to the Speaker, calling for a full investigation into all property transactions at the Municipality which took place under the leadership of now suspended Property Manager, Mr Piet Smit.

Mr Smit resigned with immediate effect amid serious allegations of irregular tenders and corrupt property deals.

However, the Speaker disallowed the motion to be tabled before Council on 22 June 2022, because in his “opinion”, the motion pre-empts “judicial” or “quasi-judicial” decisions that “might be forthcoming”.

As GOOD, we believe there are no reasons, in terms of the Rules of Order, which authorise the Speaker to disallow a competent motion based on his “opinion” of what “might” happen in the future.

Ultimately, it is Council that should resolve whether an investigation must be conducted or whether this would “pre-empt” another decision making process.

The motion to council is in the interests of transparency, and this decision by the Speaker removes transparency and accountability from the process – something which the people of Stellenbosch deserve seeing as council property is public property.

As GOOD, we believe there is a need for a full report from an independent forensic investigator that details all property transactions that were approved by Council, or in terms of any delegations, in which the former manager was involved and for which he was charged.

We call on the Speaker to either table the motion as requested or provide valid reasons for refusing to do so.

Media enquiries:

Christie Noble, GOOD: Stellenbosch Municipality Councillor
Cell: 062 401 4506

Janke Tolmay, GOOD: Media Manager
Cell: 0733671223