NMB gantry saga: DA EC wants Metro spin doctor to pay back the money

BY CHARL BOSCH - AUGUST 14, 2015

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape has indicated it will be submitting a motion to the Nelson Mandela Bay’s Public Accounts Committee, to have Metro spokesperson Roland Williams pay back the money spent on illegal advertising during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Earlier this week, it was reported that municipal bosses had ruled out taking further disciplinary action against Williams, following his contravening of a by-law to authorise the illegal set-up of advertising gantries towards the end of the sporting showcase.

A High Court ruling eventually had the gantries taken down a year later, resulting in advertising company, Tractor Outdoor, taking Century Media and five other ad firms to court.

Speaking in a statement, DA Nelson Mandela Bay Caucus Leader, Retief Odendaal, said the party would not accept the ruling against “an official who blatantly broke numerous regulations and laws”.

“The disregard for our own municipal by-laws in erecting the gantries deserves harsh sanction, yet the political protection afforded to Williams by ANC politicians over the years seems to have him off the hook for now,” Odendaal said.

He added that the party would also be submitting questions on the exact details of an inclusive golfing trip paid by a printing firm to Williams and a co-worker in 2014, following the awarding of a R7.8-million tender from the municipality’s Communications Department, for the printing of Ubuntu Magazine.

“If this action against Roland Williams is blocked by the ANC, Mayor Danny Jordaan’s utterances about fighting corruption and rooting out undesirable officials will be exposed as nothing more than misleading the public,” Odendaal said, adding that Jordaan was merely deployed to help fix a municipality left in a mess by the very party that appointed him.

“He is an ANC Mayor, who presides over and ANC government that has failed the people of Nelson Mandela Bay”.