“I WILL MAKE IT MY BUSINESS to bring upon you the same wrath that you brought upon Shaun van Eck [ex-CEO of Knysna Tourism], using all the channels at my disposal, including my own e-mailing database of 1,8 million world-wide hospitality guests that I have acquire over the past 22 years as IT/Software Marketing Consultant to SAA, Sun International, Southern Suns, Conservation Corporation of Africa, to name some of my bigger profile clients. You have been apprised. Now lets see if you have the balls to deal with this one. I’m certainly not holding my breath, that’s for sure.” – Baden Hall (now ex-DJ for KnysnaFM).
Do you remember this angry, threatening man from the blog I posted about him? He also said that I should “never argue with the man behind the microphone.”
As an activist, I can’t bow to threats but have to defend, or better still, strike back as the best defence. My response was to add another 2 blogs about him. Although the station’s owner, Gordon Hoffman, and manager, Ralph Sparg, refused to deal with me (WTF considering what happened), he was (i have it on good authority) given the boot because I kept up the pressure on the radio station.
This is not a simple story – it becomes more tangled and interesting, possibly political, and I’m sure that from this you’ll derive some of the same questions I have.
Initially, I was protesting against maladministration and corruption at Knysna Tourism. My worries fell on deaf ears and we now know that they went from being in the green by R3 million with taxpayers’ cash to in the red and without a CEO for the past 14 months as a result of deliberate behaviour (and no one has been bought to book because the DA refuses to investigate – their Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Speaker were directors). It’s been an uphill battle against political parties and smaller folk such as Baden who defended the then CEO, Shaun van Eck. After Baden demonstrated bizarre behaviour at a press meeting regarding the CEO’s dismissal, I sent queries to him which is when the situation became totally pear-shaped.
So why is this only happening now, 9 months after his threats? Sure, every time she bumped into me, Baden’s wife, Melanie Hall, would pull faces at me (in places such as Woolworths) and would not stop glaring until I was out of sight but I took that as a small (and funny) price to pay for doing what I do in a small town. Besides, she hadn’t done it for the past 2 months and had joined my Facebook so I was happy for us to all move along. Before realising that there was more afoot, I’d happily have agreed to pro-active, coffee conversation with her one day.
Unbeknownst to me, Baden Hall had laid criminal charges of defamation and crimen injuria against me round about the same time. This was not unexpected – he is an extremely arrogant man and i’d heard that he’d been paid out R2 million on a property in JHB. If, or when, I’m brought down, it will be by people with money (or someone running me over).
The intrigue arrives because I’d heard that the DA was intending to sort me out ahead of elections. I have no proof of that but consider this:
Baden Hall’s friend is Kevin Grinaker. Not only is Grinaker a fundraiser for the DA, but he’s also one of the Ward Committee members, along with Dee Hollely (another fundraiser) who unconstitutionally would not accept my queries regards maladministration in the DA-led Municipality and DA-influenced Tourism. I don’t know if there’s a connection but it’s interesting that Grinaker is a property developer and that the other query he wouldn’t accept was regarding a property developer conflictingly being awarded the ISDF tender which would, amongst other things, eventually decide the future of property development in Knysna.
Mark Allan has led a defamation campaign against me for 2 years. His obsession has become disturbing (and it wouldn’t surprise me if he takes comfort in me saying that). He’s written 34 blogs against me this month alone. They have included associating me with paedophiles and has implied violence against me (with the dare for me to take his threats to the police). Continuous disinformation has tried to make me seem to be ANC (I’m not) so that my claims about the crimes of the DA are diluted. He has also regularly defended Shaun van Eck, using it as a weapon against me. He also, recently, claimed proudly that he’d sign an affidavit for someone against me. Could that be Baden Hall?
Ironically, the coffee I did have was with Shaun van Eck, the ex-CEO. And I was glad to have it. He told me that he’d dealt with his anger towards me and that he wished to move along with his life which will include a tour in support of a marketing book he’s written. I was happy to meet because I want to believe that people can move on to better places (that includes me). I have a long list of enemies and I’m happy to have one less. I said sure, so long as further revelations at Knysna Tourism never implicated him. He showed me an excerpt of his book (which was impressive) and I said I’d happily post press releases on LoveKnysna.com, as I would for anyone who represents our town well. It was an amicable meeting.
Maybe all is better between Shaun and me but I live in a world of gossip, intrigue, power plays and backstabs so it’s hard to know where I stand. Shaun, after all, was also deep in with the DA (and friends with Kevin Grinaker and Dee Hollely). And he hasn’t spoken out against either Baden Hall or Mark Allan. I would, truly, prefer to think the best. Can I?
The Knysna SAPS has never dealt with electronic media cases before so they’ve referred the cases to the new Control Prosecutor for advice.