WESTERN CAPE – The former Municipal Manager of Oudtshoorn Municipality, Martin Noël Pietersen (60) has been sentenced to effective five years imprisonment by the Oudtshoorn Regional Court on the 31st of March 2017 on five counts of the contravention of Sec 173 of the Municipal Finance Management Act 56 of 2003.
Pietersen was charged in August 2013, convicted during December 2016, which culminated in his recent sentencing. The judgement, understood to be the first, under this specific act, followed diligent investigations by the Serious Commercial Crime Unit of the Hawks.
It was the state’s case that from October 2010 to June 2011, Pietersen misused his authority by arbitrarily authorising wasteful expenditure in favour of a business named and/or styled IBR Consultants. It was the state’s case that IBR Consultants was appointed under suspicious circumstances, without following due Supply Chain Management procedures, this resulted in the Municipality suffering losses of over R2-million.
At the time of the ruling the National Head of the HAWKS, Lieutenant General, Mthandazo Ntlemeza expressed his elation at the conviction. ” If corruption is left unchecked, it is capable of eroding good governance in the country, thereby rendering our hard earned democracy ineffectual and depriving people on the ground of the most basic of services. This is only the beginning, we are buoyed by this ruling and we shall continue to discharge our mandate with assurance and vigour”. He said.
The Western Cape Acting Head of the Hawks, Brigadier, Neil Oliver has echoed the National Head’s sentiments and welcomed the sentence. “The ‘broom’ that is the Hawks shall continue to sweep clean any corruption related activities out of our municipalities”. He said.