A warrant of arrest was issued yesterday for Democratic Alliance Eden District Councillor Rowan Spies. Spies is more well known for his long-term relationship and family with partner Eleanore Spies who is Knysna’s DA Mayor. Knysna falls under Eden District.
Rowan Spies seems to destroy the DA’s claims of having a careful vetting system for its candidates. To many locals, Rowan Spies’ unjustified selection was bizarre, his appointment thought to be the result of cronyism, his wife being the DA Speaker for Knysna and about to become Mayor. Furthermore, his alleged alcoholism was the talk of parts of town.
Further rumour is that he was to become Eden District’s Speaker but a last moment DA faction battle resulted in Mark Willemse taking his place. Willemse recently resigned, replaced by Tertuis Simmers.
Before Eleanore Spies was DA, she was the ANC Mayor. During that period, her then husband, Rowan Spies, was allegedly involved in graft in neighbouring Plettenberg Bay. I exposed that by publishing the Mazars’ forensic report commissioned by the DA Municipality yet strangely not acted upon by them. Strange unless the path of Eleanore Spies, from the ANC to the DA, was planned whilst she was still firmly entrenched in the ANC. That conjecture has been bandied around but never proven. Unfortunately, other options or explanations are not on offer.
Keeping with odd behaviour, Rowan and Eleanore Spies got divorced. Again, local rumour did its rounds, one claiming it was for personal reasons, the other that it was politically motivated. What makes it “odd” is that nothing changed except them being ‘divorced’. They continued to act as a married couple; living together, attending Valentine’s and DA meetings. They entrenched their relationship further with their councillorships.
I spoke directly to Premier Helen Zille. I gave her worrying information on Dr Martin Young and Rowan Spies who were then still candidates. I sent Zille more information at her request yet she never acted upon it. Instead, they were elected, not by the public but by the DA. My complaints to various leaders, including Mmusi Maimane, fell on deaf ears. This will be a topic when the Love Knysna Petition hearing happens on May 24.
Earlier this year, Rowan Spies took extended leave from his political duties, allegedly going into rehab. When back, he allegedly shouted from his house that Neville Korkee, an ANC member who was walking in the street nearby, was a rapist. Korkee laid a charge only to have Rowan Spies not appear in Court. Consequently, a Warrant of Arrest was issued yesterday.
I don’t like running a story with conjecture but Eden Mayor Memory Booysen, Mayor Eleanore Spies, Rowan Spies and leaders much higher than them have been silent despite this obviously disturbing situation. They are our representatives. Their duty must be to explain.
PS: I’d had this statement from Korkee for some time but hadn’t want to publish it until i had feedback from Rowan Spies. In the light of the warrant of arrest, i post it now:
“My name is Neville Korkee. I am a long time resident of Hornlee.
In April, Eden District Councillor Rowan Spies yelled from his house, as I walked by in the street, that I was a RAPIST’.
This made me embarrassed and angry because there were other people in the street.
I have laid a charge with the SAPS.
I have known Rowan Spies a long time. He is an alcoholic. He needs help.
But his conduct cannot be excused, especially now that he is a Councillor and his wife, Eleanore Bouw-Spies, is the Mayor of Knysna.”