The DA’s crisis in Knysna has generated a lot of media yet none have touched the real issues. Unfortunately, the media treats the DA with kids gloves. It has been left to residents on social media to preach hard truths to a head-up-its-arse DA.
Knysna Politics Exposed is one of those. It’s run anonymously but is obviously well informed from within the Knysna Municipality, Knysna Council and, notably, the DA caucus. They may have a political agenda, and connections to a DA faction, but what they have to say must be listened to.
Yesterday, they made a post which sums up to the important fact that the DA’s leadership refused to listen to the Public.
“DEAR BONGI, ALAN, JACO AND DA LEADERSHIP
DO NOT TOUCH KNYSNA ON HER DEMOCRACY!!!!
What happened last night was a rare victory for democracy.
Party politics and race were put aside when councilors from the ANC, COPE, KUC and two very brave DA councilors put our town first, to rescue us from the clutches of the family (and the incompetent MAYCO) that you had put in charge of our town.
When DA councilors realised last night that they did not have the numbers, they sulked and walked out without permission, leaving their two principled colleagues behind. With two DA councillors against the 9 of the opposition, the ANC could have taken over the town, yet remarkably councillors unanimously elected a DA Mayor. In doing so they proved that they had no self-interest and truly wanted to rescue Knysna from its poor leadership.
Bonginkosi Madikizela, such integrity among politicians is almost unprecedented and you should have been happy that the town is still a DA town, but instead you have been shouting “coup!”
If you had taken the time to inform yourself, you would have seen the overwhelmingly positive comments on social media. I wish you could have seen the smiling faces of almost each and every municipal staff member today.
The Mayor the DA had imposed on us is universally unpopular with the public, most politicians and staff alike. All our pleas to remove her and her MAYCO and replace them with worthy leaders fell on deaf ears, yet today you are crying foul and pleading ignorance. You only have yourselves to blame.
First of all let us remind you of the facts.
You let Knysna down by loading the MAYCO with rookie councilors, who had never set foot in a council meeting. The only exception was the highly qualified and competent portfolio councillor for finance and governance.
Shortly after the Mayor commenced her term, it became apparent that there were serious concerns about her leadership style and ability. Her life partner was allowed to interfere in the caucus and the running of the town and she became increasingly divisive and autocratic. The Mayor soon was alienating not only her fellow councillors and officials, but long-time friends, supporters and allies.
As early as October 2016, Jaco Londt was warned of what was happening in Knysna, but he responded in his usual rude and dismissive manner.
The Mayor was not the only one alienating DA supporters in Knysna.
The DA’s social media conduct was out of control long before the election. They alienated constituents and threatened individuals with multi-million rand defamation suits. Despite a strict social media policy and complaints to James Selfe, councilors were left to chase away DA supporters.
The Mayor’s partner, Knysna Constituency Chair and Eden DA Councillor, is proudly racist (toward whites) and regularly angers and insults residents with his social media and personal attacks, mostly relating to white privilege. He has stooped as low as to spit on the ground to show his disrespect for a “privileged” woman at his children’s school and has publicly gleefully threatened another that her farm will be taken without compensation.
You have taken no action against any of these councilors, yet despite the DA’s slim pickings, you have allowed the local DA to vote out the highly qualified Deputy Mayor in a Motion of No Confidence (MONC) and you are currently taking disciplinary action against him on ludicrous charges. As a sign of deep contempt for our town and its citizens, the Mayor has replaced him as finance and governance chair with a councilor who is hopelessly out of her depth. The unqualified finance chair has been tasked by the Mayor with overseeing the budget, with the predictable unsatisfactory result.
The Mayor has made empty promises to fire victims and communities, without ensuring that the funds have been budgeted for, leading to dissatisfaction and even protest action.
Both the Mayor and her partner are currently being investigated by the Hawks for different matters.
Throughout all of this, individuals and ratepayers have written to Alan Winde and other DA leaders. Alan you have met with concerned individuals and listened patiently, but nothing has changed.
The dissatisfaction with the performance of the DA and the Mayor has reached boiling point and recently took John Steenhuisen by surprise.
When it became clear that Cape Town would not come to our rescue our local politicians took it upon themselves to save the town. They put politics aside in the interests of our town.
You are now pleading ignorance and probably rushing to Knysna to interfere or impose your will. You have constantly ignored our pleas for intervention and backed the wrong horse, do not now come and mess things up!!
On behalf of the citizens of Knysna, we plead with you to allow the councilors of Knysna to work together in the interests of our town. You can learn from their example.
IT HAS BEEN A YEAR SINCE THE TRAUMATIC FIRE THAT FOREVER CHANGED OUR LIVES. WE DO NOT WANT OUR PREVIOUS MAYOR AND HER MAYCO BACK. KNYSNA DESERVES BETTER.”