DA calls for clear parameters on suspension of Dr Beyers Naudé Municipal Manager

The Council in Dr Beyers Naudé Municipality yesterday resolved that the controversial Municipal Manager, Martin Noel Pietersen, be suspended.

The DA calls on the Council to set clear parameters for the suspension of the Municipal Manager. Mr Pietersen must not be allowed to drag the matter of his appeal on for an indefinite period of time and cripple service delivery in the process. The municipality cannot afford to be without a full-time, focussed, dedicated administrative head.

Mr Pietersen was appointed Municipal Manager of Dr Beyers Naudé Municipality in 2016 after the ANC-led municipality bluntly defied Cooperative Governance minister Lechesa Tsenoli. There was a written warning from Tsenoli that the appointment is illegal. Pietersen faced a number of charges including fraud, corruption and theft related the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) and Municipal Systems Act.

On 6 December 2016, Pietersen was found guilty of contravening the MFMA in a Western Cape Court of Law and sentencing was set for 31 March 2017.  Pietersen has subsequently advised the Municipality that he is going to apply for leave to appeal.

The DA pushed for the termination of the Municipal Manager instead of a resolution for suspension with full pay. Dr Beyers Naudé Municipality is in need of a full-time Municipal Manager focussed on service delivery and not defending himself in court cases on municipality time.

The ANC-led municipality must keep in mind the best interests of all the residents of Dr Beyers Naudé Municipality and not the best interests of one man. He must not simply be protected; the council must first look what is in the best interests of the municipality.

The ANC must heed the warning that voters gave on 3 August last year, which put the DA one seat away from taking over their municipality. We are ready to govern. — Vicky Knoetze MPL, Dr Beyers Naude Constituency Leader