ID CHALLENGE ZILLE OVER APPOINTMENT OF NEW COUNCILLOR BADIH CHAABAN

2006-08-08. The Independent Democrats believe that Helen Zille has been seriously compromised by the appointment of Mr Badih Chaaban as a City Councillor by DA Coalition partner, the African Muslim Party.

Mr Badih Chaaban owes the City of Cape Town over R500,000 in unpaid rentals and rates connected to his shady business dealings in the City.

He has been sued by the City Council on several occasions and has been involved in controversial business deals involving his monopolistic control of Green Market Square.

His colleague and Leader of the African Muslim Party, Cllr Wasfie Hassiem, has sat on the Planning and Economic Development Portfolio Committee of the City for the last ten years. Cllr Hassiem is now the Mayco Executive Member for Planning and

Economic Development under Helen Zille.

Questions should also be asked as to the fate of the Councillor that Chaaban now replaces. What happened to Mrs Nazli Bester, partner of Wasfie Hassiem?

The ID also want to know if Badih Chaaban will now also become the Sub Council Chairperson in Athlone, a position previously held by Nazli Bester.

The Manager of the Central City Improvement District confirms that Mr Chabaan pays his rental on a sporadic basis but collects his rent from traders on a daily basis. The former CEO of the Cape Town Partnership, Michael Farr, described the area under Mr Chaaban’s control as “ operating as a drug and prostitution cartel at night “.

Although his lease on Greenmarket Square was officially cancelled on November 30th 1998, he still controls the area.

Derek Bock, CEO of Central City Improvement District, has accused Badih Chaaban of mismanagement. The Chairperson of the CCID, Theo Yach, has raised complaints against him for overtrading, lack of maintenance and poor cleansing.

Mr Chaaban holds a number of leases with the City and has previously tendered for many others.    

ID Cape Town Leader, Simon Grindrod says :

“ It is clear that Helen Zille has been seriously compromised by the appointment of Mr Badih Chaaban by her coalition partner, the African Muslim Party. Her election platform was based on ending the politics of nepotism and sleazy commercial dealings.

“This promise has now obviously been ditched in favour of satisfying the demands now being made by her coalition partner.

“This is a clear cut case of jobs for pals and the extension of commercial interests into the Council Chamber. There should be very critical scrutiny of this appointment given that the AMP already have  complete control over all planning and economic development functions of our City.

“Given Badih Chaabans’ controversial commercial history with this City, I cannot understand how this gentleman could possibly be the best choice to sit in Council under the DA coalition government.

“The Executive Mayor cannot expect to be taken seriously in this regard when one of her closest coalition partners engages in the self same practice.

“I note with great interest the wave of silence from the previously principled and vigilant DA benches over this appointment. Sadly, it seems that both Helen Zille and the entire DA caucus are now held hostage to the whims of the 3 seat African Muslim Party.

“Questions must very soon be asked about who actually governs Cape Town. The Executive Mayor is keeping the wrong company. I hope she is also not forced to take their advice. We have a very worrying situation on our hands.”

 

ENDS

 

Further enquiries : Simon Grindrod 076 782 5154
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