[If you missed it, Part 1 here]
“Our role isn’t to go into a character assassination. We’re dealing with a soul who has a family…member’s rights…and judiciary concerns. Shaun has brought up defamation…so we’re trying to deal with dignity to both parties,” were the approximate words of Knysna Tourism Board’s Chairman, Greg Vogt.
With that statement, the foundation for grey had attempted to be laid. What was made clear was procedure i.e. how it all happened.
At the preliminary meeting, Shaun van Eck wanted to move the issues to arbitration as he believed that it was regards his contract of employment. The Tourism Board wanted a course of disciplinary action instead. An arbitrator on the matter, agreed upon by both parties, concluded that gross misconduct should equal disciplinary action. This was concurred with by legal advice from Professor van der Walt, an expert in labour law.
To clarify the gravity of gross misconduct, a single offence can result in dismissal.
The charges against Shaun van Eck were Poor Corporate Governance, Dishonesty, Negligence and Insubordination.
After overwhelming pressure from the press for their right to know, the Board agreed to release a definition of those charges to us later today (Dec 6). I still await them but hope to post them on this blog later today.
Before concluding the “press conference” part of this blog, let me share some of the Q&A and so-called Q&A. Baden Hall, from KnysnaFM, was fervent in his support of Shaun van Eck and accused the Board of hidden agendas which he wouldn’t clarify. He added that geniuses break the rules and creative types don’t necessarily need to follow them. He was of the opinion that van Eck did a good job marketing our town (please note that i hold back from full commentary as his view does not necessarily represent KnysnaFM who will be having a meeting with Knysna Tourism so as to seek understanding). Greg Vogt’s response was that van Eck was hired to be a CEO and not a marketer and that his contract carries a job description that was not adhered to. Furthermore, the chairperson was independent i.e. the consequence resulted from facts not dubious motives.
Labour consultant, Willie Kruger, added that, “There is a process. A procedure has to be put in place and the right person chosen to run it.”
Fran Kirsten, from the Knysna-Plett Herald, asked whether Shaun van Eck had alerted the Board to the fact that he was having difficulties with the financial aspect. Vogt’s response was, “He produced his proof. We produced ours. The arbitrator decided in our favour.”
There is more to say but i have to run now. I will hopefully return this afternoon with a third installment (what happened during the member’s meeting) and more details of the charges. I will also invite Shaun van Eck to make a statement.
Part 3 here.