Premier Helen Zille and DA Leader Mmusi Maimane, please hear our cries and remember our dead:
- Tony Johnston (30)
- Madré a.k.a Mandy Johnston (28)
- Unborn child of Tony and Mandy (8 months in womb)
- Michael Johnston (3)
- Enala Manda (22)
- Catherine Matope (4)
- John Blauw (63)
- Bradley Richards (24)
KNYSNA FIRE COMMISSION NEEDED
This petition is demand for investigation, answers, transparency and accountability regarding the Great Knysna Fire of June 7 2017 that burned for 2 weeks, killing 8 people and destroying approximately 700-1000 homes (final statistics still not released).
As the Garden Route remains at risk, it’s also a request for result which will make our future safer.
Despite more than 3 months passing, many questions remain unanswered and our disaster continues in different ways. Questionable actions by Knysna Municipality has intensified worry by the Public who are being unConstitutionally (and thus illegally) ignored. The backdrop finds victims struggling to recover their previous lives, some living in awkward situations whilst others have been forced out of town due to there being nowhere to stay.
The Knysna Municipality chose to exonerate itself by suspiciously investigating itself. That full report has yet to be released a month after parts were presented to the media. In direct and disturbing conflict is Afriforum’s forensic investigation which diplomatically points a finger of blame at the Municipality. Since then, more information has surfaced such as satellite photos alleging to disprove the Municipality’s position.
Afriforum stated via Facebook livestream that Helen Zille, after meeting them to discuss their report, stated that the truth must come out. If that’s true, why has she and the Western Cape Government been silent for so long?
Has truth so far failed because Government doesn’t wants to be possibly liable for R5-billion rands in damage? That reinforced by pre and post disaster actions that may amount to culpable homicide, fraud, obstruction of justice and defeating the ends of justice?
We request a Fire Commission of Inquiry which will address the following:
- The cause of the fire.
- The alleged theft of donations. This must include the Knysna Municipality’s Spring Street depot and products such as tents.
- The failure to deposit donations publicly promised to KFM, Gift of the Givers etc.
- The blocking of communication and transparency.
- The handling of victims, especially the homeless. This must include the attitude and actions of politicians and associates towards victims.
- The use of propaganda and intimidation by Local Government (with particular reference to Councillor Dr Martin Young – 1, 2 and his recent threats to sue citizens for sharing info on Facebook – and Fire Chief Clinton Manuel, and the failure by their counterparts and superiors to investigate them, thus making their actions representative for all).
- The illegally appointed/contracted Knysna Municipality staff who were in leadership positions during the fire e.g. Dawie Adonis and Fran Kirsten.
- The handling of, and failed response to, the 2010 Fire Risk Analysis that predicted our disaster.
- Why National Government never declared Knysna a disaster area.
This Fire Commission must not repeat the mistakes of excluding the Public. It must be unbiased. It must include a healthy compliment of local residents ranging from scientists and engineers to the Knysna Community’s loudest online voices (e.g. Love Knysna) and resident associations (e.g. Knysna Ratepayers’ Association). It must exclude any member of government who is currently facing allegations of maladministration and corruption with relationship to Knysna. It must exclude the Knysna Municipality and Knysna Council in any capacity other than as witnesses.
Helen Zille and Mmusi Maimane, please serve us, the Public.
MESSAGE TO THE PUBLIC
It’s unfortunate truth that we live in a world where government often deliberately ignores who it works for. However, the law requires petitions to be responded too. Every legal route route towards understanding and, if necessary, accountability must be pursued.
This is a request for Knysna’s citizens and friends of Knysna, wherever you live in the world, to PLEASE STAND TOGETHER BY SIGNING THIS PETITION. Let’s not forget our dead, the danger we faced and still face. Remind our politicians that us citizens are the most important part of our government.
As important is for you to SHARE THIS. Make social media the colour of respectable protest and friendship.When commenting, choose your words carefully.
Add your opinion and questions to the comment section of the petition which can be found at AVAAZ.
You can also comment on the Love Knysna Facebook page.