The current President of the Samusocial Board, Michel Degueldre, said on Wednesday that he was not proud of the e-mail which he sent on May 25th to several Samusocial members. In the e-mail, he asked them to inform him as to the life and routines of the green party deputy Alain Maron, and of two journalists who came to question Degueldre upon the compensation for the CEO of the homeless charity.
“In late winter, and upon the subject of the organisational strategy, they questioned me upon Samusocial. This part did not last very long. Very quickly we turned to the position of the female CEO employee who was not in fact a salaried employee. All of this meant that I was led to ask myself what action I should take. In the long run, I was forced to react angrily, as I did not appreciate the approach being taken. I wrote this e-mail one evening as the relevant attaché was on holiday in Brittany. I fully understand the content of this e-mail and I am not proud of it.” The President explained this when speaking before the Samusocial Investigative Committee.
Mr Degueldre started his hearing by detailing his route to the Samusocial. This qualified gynaecologist was the Director of Obstetrics at the Hôpital Saint-Pierre (a Brussels university hospital) for 24 years. He said that in 2000, he started at Médecins du Monde (“Doctors of the World”) where he realised that “the situation in Belgium was difficult.” The doctors’ association was brought in to care for people in the building occupied by the Samusocial in Rue du Petit Rempart. Through this partnership, the Samusocial asked Mr Degueldre to become a board member. Around 2014, faced with the “exponential [issue] of homelessness”, the doctor got involved in the creation of the Medi-Halte centre for those who were both sick and homeless.
Mr Degueldre’s version of events is that he became President of the charity in 2015. At the time the Mayor of Brussels, Yvan Mayeur, considered that it was difficult for him [Yvan Mayeur] to combine the two roles. This led to Mayeur’s resignation as President and the subsequent appointment of Degueldre to the role.