“Our single most important challenge is therefore to help establish a social order in which the freedom of the individual will truly mean the freedom of the individual. We must construct that people-centred society of freedom in such a manner that it guarantees the political liberties
and the human rights of all our citizens.”
(Opening of the South African parliament, Cape Town 25 May 1994)
Lauren Waring, Municipal Manager of Knysna, and her cohorts, the politicians and various municipal employees, have blatantly and arrogantly ignored the public. To protect their private agenda, they have repeatedly blocked access to information which is a constitutional crime in South Africa.
I am a thorn in their side as i believe in the public’s right to know. Being a thorn is a democratic right. And i wouldn’t be a thorn if they were honest and obeyed the law. But they are dishonest and continuously break the law so they have illegally put obstacles in my way.
Despite me being a tourism member, Knysna Tourism and the Knysna Oyster Festival removed me from their mailing lists when i objected to their misappropriation of funds. The Knysna Municipality, who was also a member of the Tourism Board, copied their bad example and removed me from their mailing list (ignoring my right as a citizen) after i objected to the destruction of the wetlands at George Rex Place and requested the salary figures for municipal staff.
I have already, on this blog, discussed in detail how i have been blocked in local media. No matter what i expose or questions i raise, my name is simply erased from newspapers and radio. This has also been the practice of the DA (not as democratic as their name would suggest) with regards other truthseekers on the Garden Route).
The DA’s role is extremely relevant as they carry the reins of power in Knysna. The DA believes that they have the right to criticize others but don’t believe that we have the right to criticize them. They hypocritically trample our right to know whilst objecting to the Secrecy Bill. It’s political maneuvering, not democracy in practice.
Somehow, bizarrely, DA supporters in Knysna have fallen prey to this oxymoron so that, in their minds, the DA can do no wrong. What has happened with the ISDF tender and the Knysna Tourism budget should be an ENORMOUS WAKE-UP CALL TO THE REALITY THAT WE’RE LOSING CONTROL OF OUR LIVES. Don’t substantiate the DA with bullshit such as, “They’re better than the ANC.” Bullshit logic because each should be judged for their own actions, applauded or condemned accordingly. There are fundamental flaws in all South Africa’s main parties matched by a grave lack of addressing and fixing them.
The heart of the failure of South African democracy is that political party members and supporters don’t sufficiently criticize within but choose to rather practice a deconstructive hate game in which we’re all losers.
Knysna’s bad leaders’ latest spanner in the works involved blocking my emails. For example, after i objected to the ISDF tender, they blocked my email. I switched emails and they blocked that too. I switched again to same effect. I queried what had happened and had both my website host and GWAVA, their service providers, confirm that i was blocked in-house i.e. by the Knysna Municipality.
- GWAVA: “The recipient is blocking you. Please contact the recipient and ask him to get unblocked, this is a manual filter not an automatic one.”
- My overseas website hosts: “The information you sent in shows that emails you sent to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org passed through us successfully but were rejected by the knysna.gov.za mail server.”
Effectively, they stop me from emailing any employee or politician in Knysna Municipality.
Do they act like honest leaders?
Constitutionally, the South African Bill of Rights states:
- (32) Access to information: Everyone has the right of access to any information held by the state and any information that is held by another person and that is required for the exercise or protection of any rights.
- (16) Freedom of expression: Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, which includes freedom of the press and other media.
Democracy is dying in Knysna!
If people like me battle lonely, the Bad People will win. Personally, i’m challenged by defeat on an almost daily basis. They only have to wear me out until there’s no money, no internet, no food. That has happened monthly for a very long time but one day there’ll be no recovery and i’ll be drowned by silence, yours and theirs. I understand that saying such doesn’t follow the rules of manipulative, get-them-on-your-side psychology but it’s the truth – without you standing alongside, sharing the fight for our future and the beauty of our town, we will all be worse off.
What will you do when the consequences of your inaction results in the loss of all your rights? What will you say to your children when they ask why they’re inherited a crueler world where their freedom and safety is ignored?
We have so much in common. We have to be in this together. We have to learn how to become a community…and become it. We must start by demanding the Truth which can be the only foundation for our positive future.
The Knysna Municipality acts from a position of political and economic power which we gave to them so that they would act in our best interests. When it misuses that power to deny criticism and truth, it’s a denial of our rights…and a glaring crime against ourselves if we allow them to.
“We seek a country and a world where we all have the right to know – that is to be free to access and to share information. This right is fundamental to any democracy that is open, accountable, participatory and responsive; able to deliver the social, economic and environmental justice we need. On this foundation a society and an international community can be built in which we all live free from want, in equality and in dignity. ” – Right2Know