“Don’t forget that we told you that you were married to the DA.
It wasn’t practical that you were separated.
Now everyone can see you are married.”
Councillor Dyanti (ANC) criticises Councillor Van Aswegen (COPE)
Yesterday morning, i promised you excitement in today’s Special Council Meeting. You’re getting it.
What event was so important that it couldn’t wait until the next Ordinary Council Meeting? What emergency could have prompted an unexpected ‘call to arms’ to the Politicians of the Crooked Table (Merlin wasn’t in Council Chambers so i promise you that no magic was involved – unfortunately, the magic of leadership is being held in the hand of Lady Transparency & Accountability whose body lies bagged and weighted by the DA in the Knysna Estuary).
The first item on the agenda was the re-composition of the Mayoral Committee (MAYCO) by Mayor Georlene Wolmarans. Wolmarans sandbagged and sunk her own ‘fellow’ DA councillor, Ray Barrell, booting him from his position on the MAYCO and as Chairperson of the Section 80 Governance Committee.
Her action would seem bizarre to those who have witnessed Barrell perform one of the finest jobs in the Knysna Municipality. He worked hard to ensure that Supply Chain Management to the Knysna Municipality was rock solid, protecting the public from possible abuse by municipal staff and tenderers. On a more easy to understand level, he heard the public’s protest against the victimisation of pit bulls via a new by-law that had already been approved by his committee. He could have simply sent it up the chain, saying that it was too late, but instead he had his team re-open the issue, accepting advice from local people and outside organisations so that a new, non-discriminatory draft has been compiled. Instead of being frustrated, as most of his contemporaries would have been, by the flood of anger that was also directed at the Municipality, he instead thanked me for motivating the public to action with my blog.
Personally, i think that Barrell has more integrity than any other politician in Knysna. Yes, it was integrity to a fault i.e. he is still a member of the DA Caucus and would not break ranks to answer questions i threw his way. Despite the slight by the Mayor who said that “an organisation is only as strong as its leadership”, implying Barrell was weak, he would not respond to my questions except to be loyal to his party. My question “Did you voluntarily step down?” was answered with, “It was the Mayor’s prerogative. We all know the rules and I respect them.” Consequently and sadly, i was right not to treat him as an individual but as the Knysna DA when i laid corruption charges against all of them this week.
Mayor Wolmaran’s action would seem even more bizarre to an outsider when she promoted ‘opposition’ Councillor Elrick van Asvegen to the MAYCO and made him the Chairperson of the Section 80 Finance Committee. She, as a DA Mayor, replaced a DA councillor with a COPE Councillor who, for 4 years, has voted with the ANC against her party.
Van Aswegen screwed the Opposition. Wolmarans screwed Barrell. If that hasn’t made you understand the wider definition of “sandbagging” then here’s an example:
10-year old Georlene and 6-year-old Ray are playing “catch” in a garden at Georlene’s birthday party, tossing blue pillows to one another, getting used to catching them easily. But then Ray’s “friend” puts a brick in a pillow and throws it at him as hard as she can. He tries to catch it but because it’s way more than he expected, it knocks him flat on his back. Not only does he get hurt but he feels like a fool for being knocked over and for trusting her in the first place. None of the other kids help him. They just force a laugh… or look the other way in case Georlene doesn’t share her birthday cake with them.
This is not about the DA’s best interests for Knysna. This is about power and salaries. All that is wrapped up in the next local election. This is another battle prelude before the war for Knysna.
Much more needs to be said about this… and that’s before i even get to the salary issue. I need to explain to you the current internal power struggle. Chat to you all on Monday.