Unfortunately, we live in a quick-fix, quick-forget era that seems amplified by the younger a generation is. It’s incredibly hard to keep issues aflame in the public mind, especially those that remain unresolved for years. Forgetting means failure, translated into corrupt officials only having to fail in their duty until the public doesn’t care anymore. This ‘forgetfulness’ is a major challenge i face, having to rewrite stories whilst seeking tidbits to add that will somehow defy impending apathy. Here’s a summary of some of the major issues Knysna is facing, as submitted by me to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) when they took Parliament to the People in Oudtshoorn:
I approach the panel with serious issues affecting Knysna. They involve maladministration and crime by politicians and municipal officials, and deliberate obstruction to justice thereof. There is the abuse of political power.
I am attacked by court cases ranging from interim interdicts and harassment to crimen injuria and a civil suit. The applicants in these cases include DA Deputy Mayor Esme Edge, DA Councillor Richard Dawson, Knysna Tourism CEO Greg Vogt and Magda Moos, a DA Constituent and the Deputy Chair CPF for the Southern Cape. Four of these cases are in High Court and more than that in the Knysna Magistrates’ Court. All have the DA and the mismanagement of Knysna Tourism in common.
Initially, Advocate Julie Seton, the Deputy Mayor’s girlfriend, was involved in representing all 4 applicants. Seton’s working partner, Attorney Carl Jeppe, was initially involved in 3 of the applicants’ cases.
I include some of these cases in my evidence and ask that those who read them respect sub judice.
I firmly believe that the goal is to break me before justice can be gained… and i believe that justice has so far being prevented by political forces stretching from Knysna through DA Eastern Region Manager Jaco Londt up to MEC Alan Winde and Premier Helen Zille.
I do not trust Eden District’s police or the local Public Protectors’ office.
In my experience, from 4 years of blockade, challenges and hard times, politics takes precedence over public service and honesty.
With such short time at hand, I have summarised a few issues. I have brought with me more detailed documentation to support my claims and assist the panel towards clarity. In this document, evidence is marked in brackets. I will provide more, from Knysna, at request.
The issues today are all tied together by the failure of governance and oversight:
- The criminal funding of Knysna Tourism’s debt with taxpayers’ money;
- The illegal tendering of the ISDF, the 30-year plan for our town, to Knysna Creative Heads, a company that who did not scored the highest points and is headed by a local property developer, the person with the most conflict of interest.
- The illegal appointment of Grant Easton as Municipal Manager and other tender irregularities;
- and the unconstitutional blocking of communication.
These matters must be considered of the utmost urgency as:
- The Municipal Manager has been appointed but as his pay is yet to be negotiated and approved, the contract will not have been signed yet.
- It is likely that ISDF clearance will be voted for at the next Council Meeting.
- It is strongly rumoured that the 15-year-old Knysna Tourism will be closed and its duties put out to tender, an action which would further assist in sweeping problems from public view and waste hundreds of thousands that were spent on consultants last year to alter the organisation into its current format.
Read more at ‘Trouble in Knysna 2: Knysna Tourism’.