Far North District Council's in house counsel George Swanepoel has been charged under Telecommunications Act 2001 Section 112.2.b:

Every person commits an offence who—
(b) in using a telecommunications device, knowingly gives any fictitious order, instruction, or message.

 

 

 

The charge sheet contains the following information:

 

 

 

Mr Swanepoel contacted the Companies Office using an internet connection (Telecommunications device) on 24th August 2020 and submitted a form containing false claims intended to cause the deletion of a company from the register and/or waste the time of the business owners. He knowingly gave a "fictitious instruction or message".
This formed part of a course of conduct in which he made other fictitious messages using emails & other means, designed to disrupt a small family business, waste the time of the owners and harass them. He actually did harass the business owner and his family causing extreme stress and did disrupt their business causing significant losses.

 

 

 

It is alleged that Mr Swanepoel carried out this campaign of harassment in revenge for the family complaining about earlier incompetent decisions causing harm to them and placing them in real danger.

 

 

 

This is a latest in a long series of misconduct issues at FNDC which has recently been the subject of investigations and damning reports by both the ombudsman and the Serious Fraud Office. Complaints about Mr Swanepoel's incompetent advice to the council and his campaign of harassment were ignored by council CEO Shaun Clarke and mayor John Carter. George Swanepoel was protected by FNDC rather than being disciplined and was allowed to continue his attacks for a whole year with impunity.

 

 

 

As yet, despite him having been formally charged with a crime which brings the council into disrepute, no action has been taken by FNDC to dismiss or suspend Mr Swanepoel from his role at the council.