If you don’t know who Johnny Douglas is then you’re either new to town or not deeply involved enough in the issues affecting your life. Don’t take the latter as an admonishment because the fact that you’re reading this hopefully means you’re open to learning both sides before making your own mind up. Don’t believe the DA, ANC, local government, your colleague, your neighbour or your mom. Don’t believe me. Collect as much info as possible and make an educated opinion for yourself…and then participate in debates with others – that’s democracy, that’s helping Knysna.
Johnny Douglas was the Municipal Manager of Knysna. It was rumoured that he and others in Knysna Municipality were the product of cadre deployment by the ANC. It’s reasonable, in the South African political and corrupt climate, to expect such practices to happen but important to note that i’m not implying that it applied to him (i have no proof).
Nationally, the DA made a lot of nonsense noise about ‘cadre deployment’, nonsense because it’s also reasonable to expect such practices of them too – they’re just smart enough not to use the term. Across the Western Cape, the ANC were in fact telling the truth when they stated in the newspapers that they were being purged. White readers were as dismissive as always but should get updated on our neighbouring towns of Plettenberg Bay and Oudtshoorn as there is obviously a bitter battle for power at a cost to the public.
Johnny Douglas’ contract was terminated on August 12 2011 at a special council meeting called by the recently ascended DA. Bizarrely, this sudden act wasn’t motivated by the DA’s election claim to get rid of the baddies as there was no criminal charge (actually, there’s been no prosecutions during their reign). Even more bizarre was that you don’t terminate the most important public servant at a special meeting and then, as that nitwit, Mayor Georlene Wolmarans, did, thank him for the good work he’s done for Knysna. To round it off, she said that it was amicable to both parties.
Well, it’s possible that it was. Johnny Douglas got paid the rest of his contract for doing no work (so much for the DA’s promise of austerity!). Bonus cash in hand, he got another job. Is that legal bribery? You’ll have to decide.
The DA got greater control of the Municipality through the promotion of Lauren Waring to Acting Municipal Manager. When they advertized the position, i stated correctly that it was a farce and that Lauren was so far up the DA’s arse she’d get the job. She did…and i ‘celebrated’ that fact by publishing Oh, No, Lauren Waring Becomes Municipal Manager and added fire to the header image of this blog (now you know how it got there) which made the animal and human characters more Stepford Wives like Knysna really, sadly, is.
That arse-climbing was immediately apparent as both the DA and Lauren shared the same bowel movement when they wouldn’t answer my queries regarding how much money this political move cost the taxpayer. It’s suppose to be public knowledge. And they’re supposed to work for us.
As i said then, “If Lauren Waring wants to show integrity and start positively then let her explain why Johnny Douglas is no more, how much he was paid, and why the Knysna Municipality and DA have refused to answer questions about it for the past 6 months. Then let her open her doors to positive discussion.” They same applies to the DA and the ANC. But they never have and it’s been far longer than 6 months, in fact, over 2 years.
We may never piece the whole deal together. I’d love to but i can’t give you 100% facts as our ‘leaders’ have undemocratically banned me from contact with them (THE DOOR REMAINS OPEN FROM MY SIDE!). What is evident is the cash, your cash, that Johnny Douglas got via looking at the 2011/2012 financials. The previous year he got a R1.3 million package but this, being cut short, was R1 078 822. Of that, he was paid for 5 months he didn’t have to be here which means approximately R450 000. But there’s more than that ’cause part of his whole package was a performance bonus of R103 792. That’s good value for someone that was considered bad enough to terminate. It makes zero sense!
The DA’s version of austerity sucks. They lied from the beginning.
PS: I haven’t validated it but several people told me that Lauren Waring, ironically, was a card-carrying ANC member when she got the job in Planning and Development. If true, that could mean she’s political, a ‘floor crosser’ or (my best guess) a supreme opportunist…who now earns the highest salary in Knysna.
Pity i can’t get a “their” version before i compile these blogs but it’s impossible when they don’t respond, closed the door to dialogue and ban my edresses – democratic my arse. DA becomes UA, Democratic Alliance is in fact the Undemocratic Alliance. I am pissed off that Helen Zille, a woman i respected, sold us a lie.