Garden Route media bias continues with none, so far, having reported the major news of the ANC and COPE walking out of the Knysna Council meeting on September 29 2011. That was 7 days ago. Unlike surrounding municipalities, there’s been a tight grip by the DA on information with few media willing to report both sides. Instead, a distorted version of events makes the rumour mill and does nothing to further truth nor the productivity of the Knysna Municipality.
It had been a 3hr meeting before the walkout occurred. As i never had the agenda before me, i was momentarily lost on the reasoning, believing the objections to be regarding the previous topic of a committee to select a committee to oversee the audit team (yes, it can get that ludicrous which is why i was also distracted into occasionally reading the latest Action Ads).
The dispute was over the selection of Council members to be on the ad hoc, selection committee for the procurement of senior staff for the Knysna Municipality. If you fail to realize the importance, then realize that this would be the team making the shortlist for positions such as the next Municipal Manager.
The DA had decided that 5 of the 7 members would be from the DA, in essence the Mayoral Committee. Elrick van Aswegen (COPE) objected, stating that by law there had to be proportional representation from all parties and proposed that a fairer selection would be the DA with 3, ANC 2, Cope 1 and Independent 1. At the previous Council meeting, the committee’s determination had been delayed after the DA had decided to seek outside, legal counsel. This was odd, and most likely a delaying tactic as the Council has in-house representation in Godfrey Reid and Melanie Paulson with the former having to attend all Council meetings.
Why would the DA not utilize in-house legal advice? Why would they spend money on another? Why would they use that as substantiation to delay the creation of this important committee that whose result will affect Knysna for years to come? Is there truth to the rumour that they’re wanting to bring in a DA partisan from Eden?
COPE, as usual, has been unwilling to comment and the DA has a closed door policy. ANC Councillor, Mthobeli Dyantyi, responded with, “We are not going to allow them to bully us on this issue. It’s too important for the citizens of Knysna.”
Ironically, i need further legal advice to unravel this mess but what is likely is the DA’s continued decimation of opposition on the Garden Route. Imagine an undemocratic South Africa where you are not free to choose who to vote for but, instead, must be politically affiliated to whichever party wins a municipality. Imagine the further mess in municipalities with smaller parties as kingmakers.
The DA continues to fail to take the moral road and instead do exactly what they accused the ANC of doing. This political bickering is destructive and we, as a town, would be much better off if our “leaders” simply got on with the jobs they’ve been elected to do.