Whose behaviour is dishonourable?

2015-07-30 06:00

I WRITE on behalf of the DA caucus in the Council of the Hibiscus Coast Municipality, and in response to the letter from the Speaker, Councillor Ronnie­ Nair, published in the Fever of 16 July.

Cllr Nair has seen fit to attack Cllr Carole­ Potter regarding a number of aspects of her letter to you the previous week. His verbal attack is unnecessarily vitriolic, making use of expressions such as “dishonourable behaviour”, “self-serving political indulgence”, abrogation of responsibilities”, etc. His letter must be seen for what it is - a deliberate­ attempt to malign a respected DA councillor in the eyes of your readers. As such, it is totally unacceptable to the DA caucus.

The crux of the issue is the fact that Cllr Potter brought a number of her service delivery frustrations to the pages of the local media. It must be stressed that she did this, in accordance with caucus policy, as a last resort and only after repeated and well-documented efforts to obtain some corrective action and/or resolution from the relevant heads of department in the municipality had proved fruitless.

She followed standard procedure in that all queries and complaints should be directed to the relevant HOD with a response to be expected within 10 days. Cllr Potter, and all DA councillors, can produce mountains of unanswered letters and follow-up letters for inspection by the Speaker should he be sufficiently open-minded to peruse them.

Cllr Nair has labelled Cllr Potter’s actions as “dishonourable behaviour”. These are insulting words Mr Speaker and totally unfounded and reprehensible. The DA caucus sees nothing dishonourable in a councillor acting in this way out of sheer frustration and a sincere commitment to serve the interests of her community.

In his letter Cllr Nair states that councillors can attend any and/or all of the various portfolio committee meetings to fast-track matters of concern. This sounds good, but is just a red herring for your readers, as the Speaker is well aware that matters not already on the formal agenda of these meetings cannot simply be raised from the floor by a “visiting” councillor.

In conclusion, it is high time that Speaker Ronnie Nair removes his rose-coloured ANC spectacles and sees the reality of what is really happening, and not happening, in terms of service delivery on the Hibiscus Coast. It is also time that he remembers his manners. To address a councillor simply by his or her surname as he has done repeatedly when talking about “Potter”, is highly disrespectful and certainly not to be expected of a person in his position. In fact Mr Speaker, we would respectfully suggest that it is your behaviour that is “dishonourable” and not Cllr Potters.

Cllr Las Venter

Whip, Democratic Alliance Caucus

It is high time that Speaker Ronnie Nair removes his rose-coloured ANC spectacles and sees the reality of what is really happening, and not happening, in terms of service delivery on the Hibiscus Coast

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