This may be considered by readers to be the most interesting in this 4-part, Knysna political update…
The second of the three boss posts to be filled was that of Acting Director Finance, or what is more commonly called the CFO (Chief Financial Officer). It’s obviously an important position, emphasised by Knysna’s annual budget jumping to over R900-million.
Only 9 months earlier, Pariksha Gobrie had filled the position of CFO. Despite saying at the time that, “My husband and I fell in love with the area,” she took most by surprise by quitting. Knysna was obviously not the baby for her.
As the CFO post, like the Director Planning post, had not being advertised,a temporary director is needed.
Although no one knew where Municipal Manager Grant Easton was, he’d made suggestions for the post. Of the 3 people he’d recommended, none were qualified. Consequently it became a decision to accept the best least qualified person (twist your citizenry tongue on that).
Considering the only course logic could take, it’s possible that Louis Fourie was meant to be the choice…. but the situation is more bizarre than that…
The second most important position in local government will only be filled 1 and a half days per week. Fourie is actually the Head of Internal Audit for the town of town of George, also a DA-run town, 60km away. Their Municipal Manager will be supplying Fourie to Knysna on a part-time basis.
The situation seems insane when considering that Avitha Sunkar, the 2nd in charge of Knysna Municipality’s Finance Department, is currently suspended. Her guilt is not pre-determined. In fact, most believe that she’s innocent, some saying she was suspended by Gobrie and Easton for being a whistleblower.
Gobrie and Easton’s side is unknown, the papers currently sealed.
But Gobrie has quit and Easton is suspended (also innocent until proven guilty).
COPE Councillor Elrick van Aswegen spoke the most sense. He wanted to know why Sunkar’s disciplinary hearing wasn’t being sped up so that, if she’s found innocent, she could immediately support a department in desperate need. After all, she was previously and successfully the Acting Director Finance.
Van Aswegen raised the point twice but was completely ignored by the rest of the Council.
So Fourie will be coming to town. Unsure if that’s Monday and half day Tuesday or full day Tuesday and half day Wednesday or… you understand what i mean…
Acting Municipal Manager Bevan Ellman was instructed to begin the process of appointing someone permanently… but that responsibility would be passed onto someone else during the secret, green paper meeting that followed…
Read Part 4 of ‘Who are the Band-Aid Bosses of Knysna?’