GARDEN ROUTE NEWS - The so-called whistle-blower and main actor in the War on Waste scandal, is demanding action against two prominent DA leaders he says have been protecting the kingpins in the alleged corruption debacle for years.
Myron Bruiners of Mossel Bay, who was awarded the questionable, but highly lucrative town cleaning contract in George back in 2017, claims he and his family have suffered tremendous financial losses and humiliation since his services to George Municipality were ended about three years ago.
And little wonder - Bruiners claims to have handed over envelopes containing huge sums in order to retain the profitable municipal War on Waste contract. Even so, he eagerly awaits his chance to testify in court. According to Bruiners, in the event of a court case, he will be testifying for the state. "I want the DA to do the right thing and act against those who didn't act when they should have acted," says Bruiners.
Following an investigation in 2018 by the Hawks, the case has been on the table of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) who is yet to decide whether to prosecute or not. Exactly who they will end up prosecuting, if anyone, remains an open question.
The Hawks acknowledged the journalist's request for information saying they "will respond accordingly". At the time of going to press no answer had been received.
In an affidavit submitted at the Mossel Bay police station on 23 April, Bruiners asks that steps be taken against DA regional chairperson Jaco Londt and George Speaker Gerrit Pretorius, both whom Bruiners says he entrusted with his allegations of corruption and deceit.
He has implicated former George Mayor Melvin Naik as well as Municipal Manager Trevor Botha as key role players in the dodgy contract.
Bruiners said he decided to submit the latest affidavit because when he approached Pretorius and Londt with his version of the events in 2018, nothing came of it.
However, Londt said he did everything within his power to bring the matter to the attention of the leadership and Pretorius said the case was indeed investigated.
Naik lost his position earlier this year following the outcome of an investigation ordered by Western Cape Minister of Local Government Anton Bredell. Botha is still being investigated for his role in the matter, following a decision by Council. Botha was reinstated after he appealed and won his fight in the Cape Town High court against Council's decision to place him on precautionary suspension until the completion of the investigation.
Meanwhile, Icosa's national spokesperson Dawid Kamfer, also from Mossel Bay, has put his weight behind Bruiners. In a letter to Bredell sent earlier this week, Kamfer insisted on the suspension of Londt and Pretorius, requesting an investigation. The letter was also sent to Municipal Manager Trevor Botha, among others. Both Botha and Bredell acknowledged receipt.
Londt said he is aware of both the letter and the conversation with Pretorius. "I raised the matter with the Speaker and requested that he investigate the allegations against Naik. He will have to answer for himself about what he did or did not do," said Londt. "I also raised the issue on multiple occasions at provincial, regional and federal executive committee level (PEC, REC, Fedex). As regional chairman, I acted within the rules laid down by the party. I don't have the power to take disciplinary action, and can only attempt to get it referred for investigation and possible further action." He said he has done everything within his power to ensure that the merits of the matter be evaluated in accordance with the available evidence.
Pretorius said the accusations against Naik were procedurally investigated to the very letter of the law ["die beweringe teen mnr. Naik (is) prosedurieel volledig volgens die letter van die woord ondersoek"].
Bredell's spokesperson, James-Brent Styan, said Kamfer's letter has been referred to the Western Cape Department of Local Government. "The department will look into the allegations regarding the Speaker and will deal with the matter within the legislative framework," said Styan. He pointed out that the Hawks are investigating the matter and said "inquiries should probably be best addressed to them".
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