DA to promote its most crooked mayors to Provincial Parliament

Conrad Poole has been given a promotion after Drakenstein kicked him out, while Booysen will be dodging an avalanche of corruption allegations from the Garden Route district.

Robert Duigan


Robert Duigan


Apr 4, 2024

DA to promote its most crooked mayors to Provincial Parliament

About a week ago, an insider told me that Memory Booysen, facing a deluge of credible allegations regarding his corrupt activities in the Bitou and Garden Route municipal governments, was being pushed into provincial Parliament by Helen Zille.

Obviously, one cannot simply go on rumour, but Booysen has now publicly confirmed that the offer has been made, which confirms my most cynical instincts.

I covered the dismal state of party discipline in the DA regarding this man's sordid past, which includes crooked property deals, millions in gratuities for municipal managers, and even domestic abuse. The DA's reaction to their speaker in Bitou addressing these issues with the party back in 2011 was to eject him from the party, on dodgy grounds they failed to defend after seven years and R3 million spent in court.

But Booysen is not the only crooked cadre being kicked up the ladder - Conrad Poole will now be kicked upstairs as well.

Poole whose record in Drakenstein Municipality has been unconscionably dismal, was ejected by a consensus of opposition parties and a plurality of his own DA colleagues, for a series of issues including ballooning debt, unmaintained public infrastructure, arrogant hostility to the community, and cushy jobs for friends and family.

The motives for this kind of move is twofold - if a party member is found to have been corrupt in a court of law, the party will look bad for having protected them so far. But the ambiguity created by a public scandal which doesn't result in prosecution allows the party to leverage the corruption allegations against the members to ensure loyal and obedient voting in legislative bodies.

On the other hand, these cadres of ambiguous standing can be a risk if they are not kept happy and safe - loyalty cuts both ways after all. Booysen and his network of farmer ANC cadres, and Poole and his dense local community links are not easily dismissed, and have enough of the proverbial smallanyana skeletons to be able to threaten mutually assured destruction, but the advantage in such cases always goes to the first mover.

What has occurred repeatedly in these cases, is that the national Executive Committee will parachute someone in that the provincial or local branch of the party has no say in, and protect them from allegations of mismanagement or corruption, threatening local critics with expulsion, as they did to Johann Brummer in Bitou.

Mosselbaai has had to deal with this, as has George.

If we can force a referendum in the coming election, we may have the double benefit of not just freeing the Cape from the black-nationalist voting bloc in South Africa, but the national executive of the DA, who have ruined the good track record of their local colleagues to groom loyal cadres for high office.

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