As thought yesterday, Sunday…
Shuddered into a cold patch inside me right now. A feeling of loss and being lost that i’m unsure to describe as being at the bottom of a deep pit or climbing a mountain in the dark. It’s made more disconnecting by the sky of sunshine outside and the craziness of Wimpy where adults have to talk too loud because children scream with laughter.
It’s likely that too many late nights and 3am mornings last week ate part of me… but i did take last night off, watching movies for distraction until i slept for 6-7 hours to wake into chilly 9C at 5am.
The bigger threat to me is probably the same monster i’ve encountered before, that amalgamation of greed, madness and apathy that kills almost all reason and justice in our country where the powerful abuse the public wanting to be anesthetised. Sure, it’s easier for almost everyone i know to give up instead of coping, to be controlled because thinking for themselves is too painful: “Life is already hard so why make it harder?”
But i’m not built that way. When i see something wrong, i want to make it right. Which is why i was…
… in the Western Cape High Court on Friday, having been served on Monday to arrive, through a whirlwind, the night before, just 3 days later.
The morning of my court appearance began, in hindsight, as a comedy of errors. At that time, however, it was frustrating. The secondhand (but quality), long-sleeved shirt i’d bought from the Knysna Hospice Charity Shop was too tight on my Adam’s Apple so that ruled out me wearing a tie for the first time in years. The new pants i’d bought from the army surplus store turned out to be missing a button at exactly the wrong place for me who wasn’t wearing jocks. The pants were also too big which was a major problem as i’d forgotten to bring a belt – i literally had to hold them up until i found a belt an hour and a half later (priced at R150 but negotiated down to R80 by a stall holder who said he needed a lawyer).
Those errors continued when, after asking for directions to the High Court, i found myself standing, with dismay, in front of the Magistrates’ Court, a long way from where i was supposed to be. Despite the delay, i arrived in time and entered the warren of caves that is the massive High Court building, the ‘home’ to 31 judges.
I was #54 in Court 16 where there were so many attorneys and advocates that it looked like a graduation. I expected an eternal wait but one of my mate’s words were true: “They close early on a Friday so they work quickly.”
Before appearing before Judge Dlodlo, the advocate from Herold Gie Attorneys (who are acting under instruction from Carl Jeppe Attorneys for a Knysna politician whose name i cannot mention until this case is decided upon), asked me to sign a draft order which would allow me response to the contempt of court via affidavit but also require me to return to Cape Town in June. I said no and later presented my objection to Judge Dlodlo who sent us to a private hearing before Judge Ferreira who agreed to the opposition’s request but not to the date which would have had me appear twice more. Instead, the court will hear the two gag order requests and the contempt of court allegation on May 26 2015. Yes, in 7 days time, i have to be back there 🙁
This is obviously time consuming. There was that immediate 2 nights at a backpackers (thankfully, own room) + 16hrs on a bus. Then there’s the fact that the same attorney firm has been involved in almost all the cases and will be well aware that i was made to lose valuable preparation time for my other cases, the next Knysna Magistrates’ Court set-down being on June 3 where i face CEO of Knysna Tourism, Greg Vogt.
This takes up the majority of my time and the next two weeks will be even tougher. It wouldn’t surprise me if i received another summons this week. Their goal is to obviously tire me out, not only to slow my blogging but to make me unprepared for court.
I can’t allow that so, unfortunately, for now, LoveKnysna.com, where i support businesses for free, will have to be put on pause. I’ve already had to stop the kids trips through Love Knysna Projects but hopefully i can fit one in in a month or two. I won’t stop here on Knysna Keep but it and Facebook will have to slow down… but not stop because that is their ultimate goal. Our politicians do not want you to know what is happening to your lives. They just want to get reelected or promoted, remaining in control, ‘unfettered’ by the needs of the public who they are supposed to be serving.
A loss here would set a precedent for politicians being able to shut media up. Loss of the contempt of court case would mean a fine i probably wouldn’t be able to pay and, if so, put me in jail.
Almost everything i’ve experienced has been tainted by politics and power. Nothing is untouchable in South Africa. Our cops, courts and politicians are a mess. I have to hope for a principled Judge who assesses the cases on it merits and nothing more.
I need you to understand the gravity of the situation i face and help keep me standing. Please help me survive. Help me get the tools to fight e.g. airtime, websites, fix my computer and buy a multi-scanner (which will save money in the long run). Help me subpoena witnesses. Help me get back to the High Court. Enable me to respond appropriately to the many other charges. I have to keep going until the investigations into the politicians and the Knysna Municipality are not only fully underway but complete (as said previously, i laid two charges with the SAPS and they have been handed over to the Hawks directorate).
Ask those in the know and they’ll tell you that if this was dealt with through the normal route of attorneys and advocates, it would would cost a fortune, even millions. But i’m fighting alone. I’m representing myself which makes it much cheaper. I probably need at least R20 000 over the next month. No more than R3000 to living expenses – rest to legal preparation (a transcript, at minimum, costs R4000). I know that’s reads like a tall order but just 200 people x R100 would achieve that goal. I need to fight effectively.
I’m fighting for truth and transparency. I need you to believe in that fight. I need you to understand that this is about you too.
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