Justice is slow…and even slower now that the Knysna Municipality and Knysna Tourism have hindered the Public Protector’s efforts to gain transparency. In particular, 2 names should be singled out – Greg Vogt (who has essentially acted as Tourism CEO which is outside his role as Tourism Board Chairperson) and Lauren Waring (our infamous Municipal Manager).
The Public Protector (PP) process will continue and if they fail to be helpful in the next round they will be subpoenaed but the big question is IF THEY HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE, THEN WHY ARE THEY HIDING?
I’ve gone through the little info the PP has gained so far, have collected more myself and been approached by people (with facts and questions) who feel divorced from our local government and the Knysna Tourism Board. The result is a very disturbing picture of not only Knysna Tourism but the future of tourism for Knysna.
I can’t reveal all yet but, this morning, sent the following questions to current and ex-Board members Greg Vogt (Conservation Global), Kathy White (Sedgefield Arms), Dianne Pepler (Featherbed), Nan Raturat (Villa Castollini), Stephen de Vries (ANC), Christine Collins (Magnetic South), and Marion McIlvenna (Armadillo Studios). As they have been notoriously uncooperative, i include the questions here as an encouragement for more people to ask them the same:
- Are any Board members receiving income of any sort from Knysna Tourism?
- How much is Greg Vogt receiving and what is the description of the entry into the accounts books (the latest figure I’ve heard was approximately R20 000). How has this information been shared with membership? How is it legitimate without a change to the Constitution of Knysna Tourism?
- When will the CEO position, vacant for the past 13 months, be filled?
- Will Greg Vogt be considered as CEO?
- When will the new constitution for Knysna Tourism be proposed to its members?
- Does the proposed new SLA plan continually decrease Municipal funding for Knysna Tourism over the next 4 years? What are the amounts?
- How was the last AGM legitimate if Nan Raturat had already quit? By ensuring that all Board Members were returned to the fold by the AGM, that meant that Tourism’s members did not get to vote in new members (as thereafter you could co-opt them)?
- Who are the current Board members, which are co-opted (which subsequently means that they do not have a vote) and what is the legitimacy of Knysna Tourism if the controlling vote is Municipal?
- Where is Glendyrr Fick’s motivation letter (or other proof, request etc.) for her trip to Jamaica?
- Where are the quotes and tenders from suppliers to Knysna Tourism for the past 4 years?
- Why, AFTER 28 MONTHS, will Knysna Tourism not provide a list of who received monies from Knysna Tourism?
- Why did the Tourism Board instruct Shaun van Eck to spend the surplus in the budget (note that i have the minutes)?
- Why was the Knysna Municipality and Lauren Waring totally uncooperative with the Public Protector?
- Why did the Knysna Tourism Board withhold information from the Public Protector?
- Why did Greg Vogt lie to the Public Protector that he’d been cooperative with my queries?
As my edresses are banned by the Knysna Municipality I would expect you to share this email with those Board and Financial Committee members i.e. Municipal Manager Lauren Waring, Financial Director Grant Easton, Councillor Richard Dawson, Speaker Michelle Wasserman, Deputy Mayor Esme Edge and auditor Basil Michaelides. Relevant past Board member such as Mayor Georlene Wolmarans should be included if they were members during the period relating to any of these questions.