ISSUED BY ANNELIZÉ VAN WYK
UDM MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT
further fighting corruption, maladministration and the misuse of taxpayers'
money, the United Democratic Movement (UDM), today requested the Public
Protector to investigate possible maladministration/corruption by the Democratic
Alliance (DA). The investigation is in connection with the employment and
rewarding of contracts to Mr Ryan Coetzee, the DA's party strategist and spin
doctor, in various government positions since January 2001.
The UDM is of the opinion that a strong case can be made that the deployment of
Mr Coetzee indicates a complete disregard for the separation of power between
party and state. This reached such a degree that Mr Coetzee even filed
regular secret reports to DA Leader Tony Leon, MP regarding Cape Town Mayor,
Peter Marais and Western Cape Premier, Gerald Morkel.
The correspondence in which Coetzee advised Leon how to best "deal with
Marais" (exposed in "Die Burger, 29 June 2001") was written while
Coetzee was allegedly receiving pay cheques from the City Council and the
Western Cape Provincial Government. It amounts to nothing less than spying
on the Mayor of Cape Town at the expense of the city taxpayers, reporting to the
Leader of a Political Party on information gathered and interpreted
Tony Leon was informed by Coetzee in a letter dated 1 August 2000 that the
people in the Western Cape Provincial Government are "onnosel" and
that he (Coetzee) will implement a communication strategy for them. (Beeld
4 April 2001).
This modus operandi adopted by the DA is reminiscent of the Watergate scandal
even though Mr Leon might again argue that it measures "low" on the
corruption scale, as he did with the street-renaming saga.
During January - March 2001, Coetzee allegedly held three positions: in the Cape
Town Unicity, Western Cape Provincial Government and Democratic Alliance.
The opportunity for conflict of interest is clear to see. During those
three months it was abundantly evident that the distinction between DA interests
and the interests of the taxpayers were blurred. There is evidence of
Coetzee being quoted in different newspapers across the country, variably
wearing one of his three hats: DA strategist, Cape Town Unicity
Spokesperson and Western Cape Provincial Government communications adviser: §
On 6 February 2001 he spinned the Parliamentary speech by the Premier (Die
Burger) § On 2 February 2001 (Business Day) and 4 February 2001 (Citizen) he
announced the DA's new alternative government strategy. § On 27 January 2001 (Volksblad,
Beeld) he acted as spokesperson for the Cape Town Unicity Executive.
Presumably his contracts were terminated. Then on August 15, 2001 the
Premier's spokesperson admitted that Mr Coetzee was still involved with
"Operation Open Door". "Operation Open Door" is the
Western Cape Provincial Government's R12 million image boosting plan. The
Premier's spokesperson explained that "Operation Open Door" had begun
before Coetzee's contract with the Western Cape Province had been terminated and
he was continuing to work on it". (Cape Times, 15 August 2001).
Surely this is an indication that the lines are still intertwined?
Considering the facts, the UDM requests the Public Protector to investigate and
make recommendations regarding:
terms of Coetzee's simultaneous appointments in the three positions and the
principle of an individual earning an income from the state and a political
alleged monitoring of a government institution with a view of reporting
directly to DA Leader Tony Leon; and whether they instructed him to do so.
Mr Coetzee is still involved in projects of the Western Cape
government and Cape Town Unicity, despite recent pretence of termination of
his contracts; (Cape Times, 15 August 2001). It should be investigated what
this involvement entails and whether Coetzee receives any remuneration for
if it is proven to be maladministration or abuse of power any steps should
be taken against those involved.
recommendations to avert a repetition of such appointments in future by any
Annelizé van Wyk
UDM Member of Parliament
082 - 557 4184
083 - 522 4844
23 August 2001