Donations theft was a big topic during the Great Knysna Fire. Despite 100 days having passed, there is little will towards accountability. Worse is that its strongly alleged that robbery by municipal staff has continued from depots until now.
Secondly, some large, publicly stated donations of money were not deposited after the media hype passed.
Outside government and corporate failures, and during a period when the Public seemed to care a lot more than now, i approached private organisations with the request they commit to transparency.
“I have met several of you whose amazing charity must be applauded. However, the question of donations accountability remains. To the best of my knowledge, none of you have been transparent. I realise that some of you have been living insane lives, juggling jobs and families to deliver good deeds, but it’s 6 weeks after the fire – please assist our town by putting end to nasty rumours of donation fraud. Please step forward, making yourselves a positive examples to others organisations…”
I believed that would offer assurance to victims and future donators. My requests were mostly ignored or refused. I could never pursue all but two stuck in my head because they’re linked and i received several complaints about them.
Knysna Fires 7th June (KF7J) and Keep the Dream 317 trading as Heavenly Haven operated via social media, working together. Heavenly Haven is based in George, one of several charities with Jolindy Dryer as the common denominator. Dryer, along with Bruce Bartie (Knysna), Done Else (Knysna) and Joanne Anthony-Gooden (Port Elizabeth) are KF7J.
Their response to my queries was worrying.
First i state my logic: Donations are a psychological reaction, especially when shocked. The longer a disaster, the less donations there’ll be as shock evaporates. Consequently, most donations occur in the first few days of a disaster or, alternatively, are pledged then to be delivered later. There’s of course the odd chance that a major donation could occur later but, for the mass public, goodwill will diminish, especially regards many, small cash donations. Tragedy is just another news cycle.
That psychological reaction found approximately 51,000 or the 55,000 subscribers to the KF7J Facebook page in the first few days. The page stated the thousands of messages they received daily the first two weeks.
The first reaction to me, from Knysna Fires 7th June, was stated helpfulness that never happened. From Heavenly Haven there was only silence. When i pressed for answers, the ‘çharities’ became antagonistic. Heavenly Haven broke their silence by sending me a lawyer’s letter? Bartie started making negative comments on my Facebook.
The only member of Heavenly Haven is Dryer who pretends she has other directors. One ex-Director, Sean Snyman (now a Councillor in George) said she’s refused to remove his name for years. He said he wants nothing to do with her.
“Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to set the records straight. I am NOT and do Not want any association with the organizations that you are enquiring about. I resigned from all structures related to both Jolindy Dreyer and Zac Dreyer more than 2 years ago. I have since tried to have my name removed from the Directorship of “Keep the Dream 317″ to no avail. The only director currently of this farse is Jolindy Dreyer who also has not after numerous instances of notifying her of my discontent done anything to remove myself and Anelda Koen from the bank account. Of which she is also now the only signatory. I have made numerous attempts to have the organisation investigated as I left because of what I personally witnessed whilst in her employment and at which time I could not speak out for fear of the loss of income.”
Heavenly Haven’s stated auditing firm stated that they’d changed that company name in 2014 and tendered their resignation in 2015. After my query, they sent a request to CIPC to remove their name from the charity.
Regards Knysna Fires 7th June, Grant Thornton, the supposed auditors said:
“We were unaware of our name being associated with the Facebook page and have requested that any reference to Grant Thornton be removed from the page.”
Knysna Fires 7th June and Heavenly Haven didn’t respond in the way i expected charities too.
- Why would KF7J lie that they had an auditor? If that has been sorted since, why lie then? It gave them a credibility for donations that was untrue.
- Why is Heavenly Haven illegally collecting donations and why did KF7J work with them?
- Why isn’t KF7J as worried about Heavenly Haven as i am, instead choosing to be antagonistic towards me?
- What happened to the KF7J monies that were donated from June 7 to June 13?
- Why was the bank account details of KF7J changed thereafter?
- Why are early monies not listed on their Facebook posts and why never an official reconciliation?
- How much was separately donated by the Public to Heavenly Haven between June 7 and now? Where is it? How has it being spent?
- Why create a negative situation if the simplest way forward was to be transparent in the public interest?
These emails, with more questions, support my worry (a click will download the email):
- Emails from Done Else
- Another email from Done Else
- Emails and Facebook messages from Bruce Bartie
- Emails from Joanne Anthony-Gooden
- Emails from Ian Gooden (husband of Joanne)
- Emails from Emails from Heavenly Haven lawyers
- Emails from auditors Grant Thornton (note this email received after Joanne Gooden’s)
This post should never have been necessary. I waited a very long time in hope of voluntary accountability. I again request that Knysna Fires 7th June and Heavenly Haven commit to transparency. I want reason to not write a full article next month. I would prefer for this matter to rest.
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