‘Together We Move South Africa Forward’ declared the ANC poster. I wondered if it was a joke.
Yesterday, i posted a fourth blog criticising the ANC in support of our campaign to have them remove the 20, illegal election posters attached to the heritage building in Main Street called Oaks on Main. I also emailed another request for them to do so, pointing out that they were losing doubly: not only were they getting an anti-blog, it was sucking up the time it would take me to compose a blog criticising the DA who, conveniently for the ANC, are in power and thus in my blogging firing line.
“It’s inappropriate for you to flout the law and denigrate Main Street which is already embattled. Do the right thing, take them down and apologise. You could even commit to positive action by ensuring that the worst street sign in Knysna (Raasoie’s, the restaurant on your block) is taken down too (get on Town’s Planning case). Appreciate your cooperation. Give Knysna a small win in these tough times.”
The response i got was inappropriate: “The posters are taken down, but not because you said/ asked/ demanded it but because we were required under the agreement that was reached between all local political parties.”
In a follow-up call, i queried that attitude. It never altered my thinking which was that:
- This was about municipal law, now ‘politician’s law’. One law for all.
- Posters were up in contravention of the IEC.
- This is a protected heritage building.
- They had already received warnings which they had ignored because, in one respondent’s words, “We are the ANC.”
- The response was ungracious and, in light of the previous response, arrogant.
Fact is tons of YOU saw my posts (2500 views on FB; posted on News24 and Knysna Keep as well). This is quite possibly YOUR attention making a difference. Secondly, Lauren Waring, the Municipal Manager, nogal, made a call to the ANC about the posters. That wasn’t her job to do so interesting that she stepped in. It could, of course, be coincidence but maybe the big boss listens, albeit it rarely, to the will of the public.
I popped down to see if the posters had been removed. 18 of the 20 had. Unfortunately, they’d been nailed into the walls so now the plaster is broken all over. The plaque, made by the Knysna Historical Society, was also missing.
Should we be happy how this was handled? No. But we can take comfort in that most of the posters have at least been taken down? Yes.
For listening to the will of the public, i say thanks and, as a gesture towards future cooperation, exclude the name of the Knysna ANC politician whom i dealt with yesterday. However, i hope they demonstrate sincerity by painting the building and paying for a new plaque. That way, we can, as their poster suggests, all move forward together.