Dear biased media, politicians and anti-corruption organisations, this is too big for you to morally ignore.
This letter will not make you like me but if I don’t begin with honesty then how can I expect you to act honestly in return?
A Committee of Parliament has recommended to NCOP that the National Office of the Public Protector investigate my allegations of corruption involving Democratic Alliance (DA) politicians and government officials, and to investigate why the Western Cape offices of the Public Protector haven’t done their job.
Owing to your years of failure to respond with impartiality towards DA corruption, my honesty is a hammer. You don’t have to accept it with a smile but, if you choose to do the right thing, you will publicly accept its importance through action.
This is the biggest scandal in the history of the DA. It’s so large it’ll erase the misconception by many that the DA is the political party that’ll rescue us from the mud of the African National Congress (ANC).
The Public needs protection, all corruption treated as corruption, yet there’s been the unfortunate decision by mass media to focus on the enemies of the DA rather than corruption itself. The Media chose a side. They aren’t alone.
Misnamed anti-corruption organisations are as guilty. What their purpose is can be determined as much by what they don’t do as what they do. If they only (or overwhelmingly) fight the ANC (without stating that’s their purpose), then surely they work for hidden agenda. It’s notable that many have the same ‘liberal’ foreign groups funding them. It wouldn’t surprise me to discover that the same donate to the DA, the DA being the only political party to object to donation transparency.
As representatives of the Public who provide their livelihood, politicians are the worst.
Coalition partners have chosen selfish crumbs of power over Public service. There’s no Christian in the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP). Local ANC members seem loyal to DA ‘friendships’ rather than their party. COPE doesn’t even make effort to cope.
DA politicians who weren’t directly involved in the crimes also become culpable through inaction after knowledge. To defy the country’s laws, which expects them to report a crime at the risk of being jailed if they don’t, can only be explained through selfish political ambition which treats internal party approval as more important than representing the Public.
At the very least, honour was sold for paycheques masquerading as impartiality, anti-corruption or service.
Whichever label you belong to, your deliberate omission of corruption that abuses the Public becomes lie in the service of criminals. It makes you the servant to villains. It makes you villainous.
When you, who are supposed to be most trusted, cannot be trusted, what are we, the Public, supposed to do?
For my part, after much lonely investigation, hair-tearing and spirit-maddening blogging, I’ve sent you this letter, an appeal for you to act on the evidence I’m providing.
You could take exception to my criticism or continue to pretend to ignore me, damning your fellow citizens for the sake of yourself.
Or, as I hope, you will take offence, be outraged, and defend your newspaper, your television station, your organisation, your political party and (especially) yourself with righteous action that serves truth and South Africa.
Respected novelist Chinua Achebe wisely said that, “One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised.”
If you choose to be journalists, corruption fighters and politicians in the noble definition, if you choose to be virtuous and courageous, then please continue reading or listening…
A goal of this letter is for you to easily understand a difficult situation without it being supplemented by thousands of pages.
It’ll become clear to you why corruption that began in the small town of Knysna affects the leadership of the DA and thus who the DA, as a party, are to our country. Their mantra of “good governance”, “accountability” and “transparency” is effective marketing contrasting with our DA-damaged reality.
The seed they planted couldn’t have taken root without rotten support from other political parties such as the ACDP, ANC and COPE.
However, the focus is on the DA because they rule Knysna (through coalition) and because the cover-up implicates DA leaders such as Premier Helen Zille, MEC Anton Bredell, MEC Alan Winde and Leader Mmusi Maimane’s Chief of Staff Geordin-Hill Lewis.
I was a simple citizen. When I discovered corruption, I turned to the DA only to discover that they wouldn’t help because they were involved. Not only wouldn’t they help, but they also rewarded those doing wrong. They made a bed to lie in; a bed so much more comfortable than the daylight of honesty that they stayed in it, adding more blankets no matter how sweaty they’ve become.
The DA turned me into an activist. It’s been a 7-year battle in which they’ve tried to destroy me through many, many court cases and vicious propaganda that falsely associated me with child abuse and labelled me as a sociopath. In Court, a DA candidate married to a DA councillor was involved in many cases against me. Instead of investigating, the Chair of the Cape Bar Association acted as the advocate’s counsel.
There have been strange going-ons in Court that can only be explained by bias. That includes several protection orders and one interdict against me. Judicial officers have repeatedly ignored my evidence in their judgement, excluded the defence of information in the Public interest argument, and delayed cases (one by one year). The accumulative effect is to gag me.
The SAPS refuse to uphold the protection orders I gained. The Hawks refused to investigate detailed evidence. One police officer even requested, on Facebook, that I leave town.
The Western Cape offices of the Public Protector long sat on evidence and then appeared to act obstructively.
The Auditor General handed out clean audits to a dirty Municipality.
The DA and DA-run Eden District’s corruption hotlines aren’t interested in DA corruption.
The larger context cannot be ignored. My detailed evidence of corruption rules out paranoia.
Simply put, we live in DA land. The Western Cape appears to be captured.
Like you, the people we’re supposed to be able to turn to for help, they’ve instead chosen a side that’s against us. How much of our lives have slipped down the crack between the Zuma and anti-Zuma world you’ve helped create. How is it possible that nothing else matters? As despicable as Bell Pottinger is, they cannot compare to the creators of this imbalance.
There are obviously justifiable reasons to stand against Zuma but that isn’t what this is about. If someone stands against Corruption, then they should stand against it wherever it may attack, as much as when it dresses in blue as when it dresses in green and gold.
The Law isn’t supposed to punish only one political party in South Africa. Anti-corruption organisations aren’t supposed to chase only one party. Media isn’t supposed to ignore DA crime. Media isn’t meant to be biased.
As the Eighties were to bad hairdos, so Zuma and your ulterior motives make the DA a bad fashion statement.
Running parallel, in the words of Kevin Ritchie, Independent Media’s Gauteng regional editor, “Our inaction says a lot about us.”
THE PUBLIC PROTECTOR, PARLIAMENT & THE LOVE KNYSNA PETITION
The timing of my plea to you coincides with the recent news that Parliament’s Committee on Petitions & Executive Undertakings has recommended to NCOP :
That the National Office of the Public Protector investigate all the issues raised in the Love Knysna petition [02,03].
That the National Office of the Public Protector further investigate the reluctance on the part of its Provincial Office to investigate the complaints raised in the petition.
That the National Office of the Public Protector report to the Committee on the progress it has made in investigating the issues raised in the petition, within 60 days of the tabling of this report in the House.
How biased have you been to not react to this news, the three hearings in 2017, the related powerful segment on SAB3 News last May and the million words and million views of my blog which included detailed submissions to the Public Protector.
Corruption has been allowed to birth more corruption.
You may not be found guilty in a court of law but what you represent is an accomplice to immorality and suffering, a betrayer of South Africans.
My allegations of Democratic Alliance corruption include (but are not exclusive) to the following:
- The illegal awarding of a major tender to property developers that never won the bid. DA MEC Anton Bredell green-lit the project despite his own Department of Local Government’s damning report against it. That report was initially hidden from the Public.
- The illegal funding and existence of Knysna Tourism, as well as payments that seemed to favour cronies and disadvantage the poor. DA MEC Alan Winde failed to act on evidence, instead of seeking to protect the organisation which had DA politicians on its board (of which one was later promoted to the Council’s Mayoral Committee). Recently, I was informed that Winde had instructed that Knysna Tourism be illegally funded again – it was. The fallout led to a faction war in the local DA with Deputy Mayor Peter Myers, the only DA councillor loud against it, being kicked off the MAYCO in what may be a nationally historic Motion of No Confidence move by the DA against one of their own. There may be a far bigger picture and impact to this, the Zille faction in the DA allegedly wanting to make Winde Premier whilst it’s rumoured that other tourism offices under him in other towns were also illegally funded.
- The illegal funding of ANC councillor studies, including the Chief Whip, may have bought the Opposition’s silence in Council during the past administration.
- The deliberate blocking of communication by the Municipality and the failure of many DA institutions, including the Office of Premier Helen Zille, the DA Federal Executive and the Eden District Corruption Hotline, to act on detailed information. In an email in which I presented evidence of corruption, Maimane’s Chief of Staff 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 mailbox so that we don’t receive your correspondence anymore.”
- The illegal appointment of then-Municipal Manager Grant Easton. Despite the DA standing with him in Parliament, lying that they’d done nothing wrong, he would later quit during an outside forced disciplinary hearing that cost millions.
- The illegal appointments of Director Dawie Adonis and Communications Manager Fran Kirsten (Mayor Eleanore Spies’ friend and election campaign manager), and the possible cronyistic appointment of two high-ranking firemen. All were questionably in leadership positions during the poorly handled Great Knysna Fire.
- Rowan Spies, the life partner of Mayor Spies, was strongly fingered in a forensic investigation regarding ANC-linked graft and an amount that was paid into their joint account. After I met with Helen Zille, and subsequently sent her lots of information, she allowed Rowan Spies to become a DA Councillor in Eden, the district under which Knysna falls. Despite two alleged stints in rehab in 2017 and a warrant of arrest for his failure to appear in court, he was promoted to the Mayoral Committee a few months later.
- Zille also allowed the main character in the propaganda campaigns against this petitioner, [name withheld owing to court proceedings], to become a DA Councillor wherewith he has continued his dirty work for the party.
- The propaganda campaigns have been extreme.
- Other issues include the leasing of Knysna’s famous East Head without tender, the complicity of the Knysna-Plett Herald, and failures by various departments/organisations to answer Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) submissions.
INTIMIDATION & SUPPRESSION
I’ve well detailed the DA’s threats and propaganda in my submissions to Parliament and online, none more repeated than this perfect example of corruption:
“You seem not to realize that you are in no position to negotiate. I’m surprised you even tried. We hold all the cards, and have all the power to make your life really and truly miserable… The moment it is out there that [business name removed] supports you and enables you there is bound to be a consequence to their business.”
[name withheld owing to court proceedings] was a DA candidate in Knysna when he emailed me the threats above. He went door-to-door telling businesses not to deal with me, asking for money which he said he would use to put me in jail.
He also illegally and publicly diagnosed me as a sociopath i.e. a psychopath. He was supported in this defamation by another doctor who is a DA supporter.
A third doctor, who was the brother of another DA candidate who was working with [name withheld owing to court proceedings] against me, had previously written against me in the biased Knysna-Plett Herald which receives revenue from the Municipality and DA. The newspaper would not allow me fair response, nor to [name withheld owing to court proceedings] or the Mayor’s horrid letters also published against me.
The social media campaign against me was hectic. [name withheld owing to court proceedings], with help from fellow DA councillor Peter Myers and Mark Allan (a businessman they knew I had a protection order against), falsely associated me with child abuse. On [name withheld owing to court proceedings] and Allan’s Facebook group I was shockingly associated with a 9-year-old girl who vanished 2 years ago. No evidence, only slander. They did this knowing I was running a volunteer group providing tourism trips to poor children.
The campaign against me had too many commonalities in topic and DA allegiance to have been anything other than concerted effort to intimidate, discredit and destroy me.
I presented my complaint to, among many others, Premier Helen Zille, DA Federal Chairperson James Selfe, Constituency Representative Jaco Londt, Knysna Mayor Eleonore Bouw-Spies and Speaker Georlene Wolmarans.
This included a face-to-face conversation with Helen.
Instead of an investigation, Dr Martin Young was made a DA PR councillor and Myers the DA Deputy Mayor.
WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW
Knysna Deputy Mayor Myers is the loser in a faction war within the DA that finds him opposing Mayor Spies and Speaker Wolmarans. His weapons against them are ironically moral. He’s opposing their continued illegal funding of Knysna Tourism (approx R4-million annually) and their illegal use of public funds to hire personal lawyers against me. Seemingly in retribution, they passed a Vote of No Confidence against him, removed road funding from his ward which is the most important in town, and are now following it up with a disciplinary hearing which was oddly initiated on Christmas Eve.
It’s been alleged that MEC Winde and the DA Federal Executive are the force behind it.
The DA will protect its inner circle no matter the cost to the Public.
I lost my rented home and my possessions in the Great Knysna Fire. Although registered on the victim’s database, the Knysna Municipality didn’t help me. Instead, DA Councillor [name withheld owing to court proceedings], who lost nothing, thought that he could attack me in my weakness. He even went so far as to threaten to sue 200 of my subscribers for R60-million (those are citizens he’s supposed to be looking after). Again, media refused to report. Again, the DA Federal Executive and Premier Helen Zille failed to act on my complaint which is….
… another DA convenience considering the cover-up they are involved in with regards the fire… the billions they could be liable for…. again not reported on by national media (with the exception of Noseweek) despite it being a juicy story and the biggest fire disaster in our country’s history.
Your taking a side ensures that we don’t matter.
The Knysna-Plett Herald now has two new freelancers, the same people who they wouldn’t report on, the DA candidate and now ex-DA councillor who were ringleaders in the propaganda campaign and court cases against me.
The court cases against me are set to continue, at least 3 more on the way.
Corruption is out of control.
I believe that there are hidden forces obstructing justice. I’m concerned that NCOP’s delayed tabling of the Committee’s recommendations towards investigation is part of that. Are any of you going to ask them why the delay?
My outro may piss you off as much as my intro but my life and the lives of my fellow citizens are more important than the opinion of those who conveniently let bad things happen.
In defence of myself, and out of disgust at the failure of your institutions and professions I once admired, ask yourself what you would think of me if our roles were reversed if you were fighting to survive and defeat this darkness?
Have I been unfair to you? As this is a generalised letter, that’s possible to some degree. Some deserve more blame than others. But I’d find it difficult to believe that any were naively innocent. After all, this is the ‘game’ you’re in, where you’re most knowledgeable.
And your role, whether deliberate or unwitting, forms part of a bigger whole. Collectively, your silence is effectively supporting criminals against the best interests of the Public which you are supposed to not only protect but be part of.
Again, all corruption is corruption. The DA doesn’t deserve a free ride, especially when they’re responsible for 6-million of us in the Western Cape alone (that’s more of us than those living in New Zealand, Denmark, Palestine or the Congo).
If you continue to choose to be silent, continue biased reporting, or react in such small manner so as to insult the weight of the situation, then at least the Public will have further evidence that their rights have been sold to a third force that’s against decency and South Africa.
You could, instead, choose to be loud. Be a part and play a part for good.
I’m hoping that those with deliberately negative history will excuse it with swift, compelling and ongoing action that’s obedient to your description as journalists, justice workers or corruption fighters. I’m hoping that those few who now realise they were willfully ignorant will use their new-found logic and empathy to investigate this corruption.
Lovers of Truth will SHOUT.
May my outro evolve into your HELLO…
Mike Hampton (Citizen Journalist/Community Activist)
LOVE KNYSNA PETITION:
In addition to this letter’s many links to blogs, emails etc, these attached documents should be given the most attention:
- 01 Committee’s Final Report on Love Knysna Petition (pdf)
- 02 Love Knysna Petition submission
- 03 Love Knysna Petition submission supplementary
EXAMPLES OF SUBMISSIONS TO PUBLIC PROTECTOR:
- Submission 1 – DA, Knysna & Public Protector – The Section 21 Company
- Submission 2 – DA, Knysna & Public Protector – The ISDF Tender
- Submission 3 – DA, Knysna & Public Protector – The Communications Contract
- Submission 4 – DA, Knysna & Public Protector – The Mayor’s ex-Husband
- Submission 5 – DA, Knysna & Public Protector – The Director
- Submission 7 – DA, Knysna & Public Protector – Why Did DA Allow ANC Study Funding?
- Submission 9 – DA, Knysna & Public Protector – East Head property leases
There’s more but rather than me overwhelm you, consider your direction, then tell me what you need.
“The truth may hurt for a while but a lie lasts forever.”