Speaker Eleanore Spies’ ‘Open Letter to Knysna’ in the Knysna-Plett Herald last week clearly showed that she isn’t a leader – she placed her personal emotions far ahead of Knysna’s health. It was accompanied by a hypocritical article entitled ‘Speaking Out’.
Eleanore Spies: “I am writing this letter to inform you why I will not be engaging Mr. Mike Hampton.”
Eleanore’s first mistake was to perpetuate the undemocratic secrecy that Knysna Municipality and the DA instigated. She forgets that she is a Public servant who, by law, has to respond. I even provided her laws directly relating to her Office of Speaker. To her disgrace, she deliberately failed to mention them in her letter.
Eleanore Spies: “I received a very threatening letter from Mr. Mike Hampton…”
My letter was posted at ‘Dear Speaker for Knysna, Eleanore Spies‘. It’s there for anyone to judge and any reasonable person would consider the questions I was asking to be in the Public interest. She was completely irresponsible to only present an “ultimatum” instead of a chance to first engage out of public view, removing any questions that were answered. Instead of telling you my questions or answering them, she chose to speak about herself… a lot.
Eleanore Spies: “In one fell swoop, he has impugned my character, a Mother, a Daughter, a Citizen, a Coloured… Speaker, DA member, former representative of the ANC… teacher… friend.”
Wow, kudos for political rhethoric: Me, Me & Me she cried. She’s referring to a separate article, ‘Who Will Win Power in Knysna?’. Yes, I addressed her attitude from a colour perspective but, again, she skips facts, nominally that that line was removed after Susan Campbell, one of her best friends, asked me to (I did so because, admittedly, it wasn’t essential to the narrative unless I explained further). Eleanore’s role that I’m most concerned about is that as a Public servant. I have queried her jump from the ANC to the DA ship and her in between lie that she was going to run as an Independent. I see her as a political opportunist whose very good at getting media attention for her little good deeds but very poor at answering matters of gravity to us all. Will Eleanore tell me why the Tourism Board’s directors were kept secret for almost a year and why she lied to me that she wasn’t on it? Will Eleanore answer my queries regarding the ANC jobs-for-pals scandal her husband was allegedly involved in whilst she was ANC Mayor? What of her failed businesses and careers in between her politicking? Why, when she’s well known to love her liquor, does she ask for a minute’s prayer before each meeting? What happened to her anti-crime group she started just before her new political career? Is it all just politicking for self-interest?
Eleanore Spies: “He has the leisure of concocting all sorts of conspiracies theories from the various coffee shops and bars that he gets to spend his ‘working days’ in?”
She immediately contradicts herself by saying that “most of the issues he raised in his letter are already before the appropriate organs, or will get there…” If they were conspiracies, she’d never have said that. What she’s doing is slandering me and then covering up, having to address some of the issues without saying I’m the reason why she has to. I have given Knysna 4 years of full-time work without pay. I’ve broken many issues that the Public would be in the dark about if the DA had had their way. I’m under attack from many court cases, receive physical threats and battle to get fair treatment from our police. Eleanore has only been a councillor, again, for a few months after a 4-year break. She is being paid extremely well.
Eleanore Spies: “The people who have taken him to court, in their personal capacity, are suffering his wrath on a professional and political level.”
Deputy Esme Edge, Councillor Richard Dawson, Tourism CEO Greg Vogt and CPF Deputy Chair for the Western Cape Magda Moos all, like Eleanore, chose not to answer questions about sticky situations they were or are involved in. All chose to go to court. The matters involved (a common denominator is the illegal payment of Tourism’s debt with taxpayer’s money) are Public issues and their use of the law is abuse. I have no salary. They have big ones. I don’t believe the politicians would attack in their ‘personal capacity’ without unofficial support from their the DA. The court cases they’ve initiated are a far greater burden on me than them. They are the Giant in charge of the beanstalk. I’m just trying to be like Jack and his axe. To imply that they are victims is ridiculous.
Eleanore Spies: “I am the guardian of the integrity of this Council. I must lead by example…”
She has proven to be anything but that.
Eleanore Spies (mail 11.03.2015): “I will give the matters addressed in your mail my full attention once I’m back in office.”
- Lie (she wrote that letter to you instead).
As a politician, Eleanore Spies doesn’t have the luxury of placing selfish emotion first. She is meant to obey the law governing her job. She is supposed to put Knysna first!
It’s a sad fact that people believe what they want to believe but I can hope that you, the reader, compares both stories so as to find your own truth.
Love Knysna, Save Knysna!