Understand this clearly: MAYOR ELEANORE SPIES AND THE DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE ISSUED LIES IN RESPONSE TO ALLEGATIONS OF CORRUPTION INVOLVING THE PARTY, DISRESPECTING PARLIAMENT WHILST DOING SO. CONSEQUENCES ARE INEVITABLE.
The Knysna Council, which includes all the other parties because they’ve strangely failed to be opposition, allowed this to happen, damaging our town’s credibility and ensuring that more public funds will go down the drain.
Activist Susan Campbell is far more conservative than me yet her response to Knysna Mayor Eleanore Spies essentially calling her and I liars was as good as any WWE body slam. But Campbell wasn’t finished. Here she rebuts the Knysna Municipality’s press release which would have to have been signed off, as per policy, either by Acting Municipal Manager Johnny Douglas or Mayor Spies i.e. there is someone more immediate to blame.
If Campbell doesn’t sue the Mayor to court, I certainly will. Furthermore, yesterday, I initiated talks with the police. I’m intending criminal proceedings against the whole Council, municipal officials and the DA Federal Executive. I gave Mmusi Maimane this week to sort their mess. It doesn’t look promising because his personal assistants Riley Wakeford and Janine Schouw have refused to respond. Instead, their Shadow Minister of Trade and Industry, Geordin Hill-Lewis responded with:
This email is on behalf of everyone at the Leader’s Office. I have instructed my colleagues not to respond.We will also be adding your address to the junk mail box so that we don’t receive your correspondence anymore.
It’s illegal for him to ignore corruption. He’s been doing so for a long time, since 2012, if I recall, when he was working with Premier Helen Zille and I was complaining about the abuse of public funds through Knysna Tourism. His email becomes solid evidence against him.
Consequently, his response means that I’ll likely I’ll be laying criminal charges against Mmusi Maimane and his blue mafia.
THE FOLLOWING STATEMENTS BY THE MUNICIPALITY AND THE MAYOR ARE ALSO DESERVING OF A RESPONSE.
Knysna Municipality: “The then Municipal Manager, Grant Easton and Executive Mayor, Georlene Wolmarans accompanied by senior officials travelled to Cape Town and made a representation before the committee on the allegations of maladministration, fraud and financial irregularities at huge expense to Knysna’s taxpayers.”
Campbell: The question is why it was necessary for Mayor Wolmarans, Mr Easton, Ms Paulsen [Legal Advisor] and Christopher Bezuidenhoudt [Communications Manager] to all travel to Cape Town. Only the Mayor and Mr Easton made submissions. If I am not mistaken, another politician and spouse went along too. There was no need for everyone to go to Cape Town. The municipality is invited to provide full details of the costs.
I was invited in February 2016 and May 2017 and on both occasions, Parliament only paid for my flight. I insisted on using my own transport in Cape Town and making my own accommodation arrangements to save public money. I used public transport, including the train [in fact, the train broke down and Campbell, in what became a mad rush, had to switch to Uber].
Knysna Municipality: “It must be noted that previous extremely costly oral submissions have been made by the previous council and yet again no charges arose and these submissions seem to have been ignored.”
Campbell: The “extremely costly” submissions made by Mr Easton and Mayor Wolmarans were unfortunately extremely economical with the truth. Mayor Wolmarans told the committee that Mr Easton complied with the requirements for the advertisement, although he did not comply with the linguistic requirements and should therefore not have been shortlisted. She furthermore alleged that his qualifications had been verified although this had only been done a year after his appointment when the Knysna Ratepayers’ Association questioned the aspect with Province. No candidate may pass the screening process unless his qualifications have been verified. Mayor Wolmarans furthermore alleged that the R300,000.00 per annum, over and above the maximum permissible salary, paid to Easton was justified as a “market based premium”. In truth, she was not allowed to pay any premium as there was a suitable candidate willing to work for the advertised salary.
Knysna Municipality: “In the light of the fact that both petitioners, Hampton and Campbell seem to be incapable of accepting this and clearly do not seem to have any regard to the cost to ratepayers that the Knysna Municipality must incur in a sincere effort to address any legitimate concerns that we have not yet noticed. At the time of this release we have not received any evidence that required any further response to what has already been submitted by us.
Campbell: The mayor could have advised the committee that Easton had since been charged for the ISDF and that consultants had been appointed to advise on the recoverability of the irregular expenditure, but I suppose that would have been admitting that the municipality had lied to Parliament in March the previous year.
The Municipality makes the following statement relating to the ISDF tender, implying that they provided proof to Parliament that the award of the tender was legal:
“The petition further alleged that the municipality illegally awarded the municipality’s Integrated Strategic Development Framework (ISDF) tender to Knysna Creative Heads, a consortium. Knysna Executive Mayor, Eleanore Bouw-Spies explained: ‘When the allegations were brought to the Parliamentary Committee during 2016 the Knysna Municipality provided the committee with a file of more than 600 pages containing their written submission on the facts of the matter. This file was accompanied by supporting documents offering substantial proof negating the allegation.'”
Mr Easton addressed the parliamentary committee on 16 March 2016 and alleged that the Auditor General had found nothing wrong with the ISDF Tender. This statement was of course completely untrue, as the AG had specifically identified the ISDF Tender as one of the tenders amounting to more than 9 Million Rand in which irregular expenditure had been incurred.
The written response from the Municipality to Parliament contained blatant lies to Parliament and Province, such as the statement that Knysna did have a Bid Specification Committee (“BSC”) when the ISDF Tender was awarded. This was contradicted by [Supply Chain Manager] Fredri Kruger in 2016 in a report to a Council Committee in which she stated that there was no BSC prior to her appointment in 2014. The ISDF was awarded in 2013.
It is incredulous that the municipality is still maintaining that the ISDF tender was legal. Since the statement to Parliament, the municipality has instituted disciplinary charges against Mr Easton. One of the charges specifically relates to the illegality of the ISDF. I testified against Mr Easton and was cross-examined by his Advocate Julie Seton for a day. The very next morning Mr Easton elected not to testify in his defence and resigned. The municipality thereafter issued a press statement that the evidence against Mr Easton was overwhelming.
On 31 May 2016, the Council unanimously resolved that the Municipal Manager, in consultation with the Chair of the Audit Committee, appoint a specialist consultant, to investigate and report on whether anyone, officials or councillors, could be held responsible for the irregular expenditure (R 9,277,921.00) for Local Content as disclosed in the 2013/2014 Financial Statements. The ISDF was one of these tenders.
Despite the above position the municipality now wants us to believe that the ISDF Tender was perfectly legal for the purposes of Hampton’s petition. This is simply outrageous and beyond a joke.
For reasons best known to the municipality the review of the Mosque approval is included in the press statement:
Recently Campbell, Knysna Ratepayers Association Legal representative advised Knysna Ratepayers to approach the Western Cape High Court to ask that a decision taken by the Knysna Municipality to approve the construction of a mosque be set aside. Judge Daniel Dlodlo dismissed with costs, the application to set aside the construction of the place of worship on 5 April.
The relevance of the mosque matter to the parliamentary enquiry is unclear unless it is an attempt to cause a distraction. That is however not the end of the matter, the statement is completely untrue. I attach hereto an extract from the court case and a link to the case from which it is obvious that neither the KRA nor I are parties to the proceedings.
IN THE HIGH COURT OF SOUTH AFRICA
(WESTERN CAPE DIVISION, CAPE TOWN)
CASE NO: 22136 /2015
In the matter between:
22 RAWSON STREET BODY CORPORATE First Applicant
MICHAEL JOSEPH HUDSPITH Second Applicant
KNYSNA MUNICIPALITY First Respondent
KNYSNA MUSLIM COUNCIL N.P.C Second Respondent
Coram: Dlodlo J
Date of Hearing: 08 March 2017
Date of Judgment: 05 April 2017
Is it asking too much of the municipality to be open and honest with residents and to admit when they are wrong?”
It’s not just Knysna Mayor Eleanore Spies that’s in toxic waste!
Why is the DA allowing her behaviour?