This morning I announced that Mayor Georlene Wolmarans and Municipal Manager Grant Easton, along with others, had decided to finally meet with me and answer my questions before Parliament returned from holidays.
That was an April Fool’s joke motivated by good reason. I made the words very close to what you’re used to reading on social media. I defaced myself in the start, thinking that my enemies would love that and be fooled a bit longer.
In this blog, I explain my intentions. Hopefully, you will see it’s worth, have a chuckle, dig into thought, and forgive me if need be.
For years, the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Knysna Municipality have pushed out the lie that they were cooperative with me and that my only intention was to be unreasonable. I’ve heard it again and again and again and again and again… as you have too. The trick to effective propaganda is repetition. Some of you undoubtedly believe them… yet who of you have ever seen evidence supporting their version of events.
The biggest early question/request that has never been fulfilled was my wanting a breakdown of Knysna Tourism’s finances so that we, the public, could clearly see who had benefited from an organisation that was repeatedly run into the red. The need for transparency was compounded by their lack of supply chain management processes, that public funds were being illegally used to fill the holes, and that politicians (the people that we’re supposed to trust) were on the Board of Directors, supposedly to provide oversight.
Accompanying that local government lie of cooperation, communication with me was banned – that was an unconstitutional act.
With my presentation of allegations of corruption to Parliament, the campaign against me (by some DA constituents and their associates) shifted into overdrive. On social media, nasty-driven pages called Knysna Knews, Hampton Factor, Protecting Brand Knysna and AngryMikeH attacked me. Instead of our leaders being horrified at the manner in which these sites have operated, some instead supported them, lie after lie.
The Knysna-Plett Herald repeatedly refused to deliver fair reporting, giving the DA and the Knysna Municipality a vast amount of biased coverage.
In Parliament, Easton tried to dodge a bullet by saying that he had unbanned me as if all was well and no one was to blame. That was a falsehood because, I assume, that unbanning of my final edress took place only so that he could tell Parliament that… but who takes responsibility for the 4 years before that?
Effectively, I remain banned because they will not answer my questions.
The other lie, one of disproportion, was with regards the costs of the Municipality attending Parliament. That has been repeated ad nauseam. It has been a form of attempting to manipulate you.
“An argumentum ad nauseam is the logical fallacy that something becomes true if it is repeated often enough. An ad nauseam argument that can be easily shown to be false leads to the “point refuted a thousand times”.
Due to the modern 24 hour cable news cycle and the fact every idiot now has a blog, argumentum ad nauseam has become particularly prevalent. In politics it is usually used in the form of a talking point, which is then reduced to a three second sound bite and is repeated at every available opportunity. On the blogosphere it takes the form of a meme, where every like minded blogger repeats a statement used by a fellow blogger. Twitter, where every message has to be less than 140 characters, has only made this latter form of viral propaganda worse.
Repeating an opinion again and again seems to convince people that it is true — maybe because it simulates the effect of many people having that opinion.” Source – RationalWiki.
If anyone is to blame it is our leaders! If they had chosen to be transparent, we would not have reached this point. There would be no costs. In fact, honesty would have led to action. Action would have stopped money, your money, being thrown into a black hole.
Despite their attendance having taken place 16 days ago, they have not detailed their expenses. If they ever do, ask yourself how could the one-day travel costs of 4 people ever be unreasonable considering how serious this situation is? If they’d gone in one car, petrol. wear and tear, and meals would have cost approximately R3500 for the return trip. If it’d been by plain, the cost would’ve been around R17 000.
How does it compare to the tens of millions we’ve lost with regards Cornuti’s, Knysna Tourism, the failed forensics examination of the traffic department, the ISDF, the rates battle lost against Phantom pass etc.
I am seemingly blamed for everything that goes wrong in Knysna, as if I’m the greatest activist and blogger who ever lived, a successful subversive working for a third force to destabilise Knysna – WHAT POPPYROT.
The truth is that THEY DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW THE TRUTH…
…and they’ve escalated that to a dirty level…
They never chose to communicate or be people of positive action. Instead, they punched me again and again with court cases, all seemingly orchestrated by a family member of someone high in our government. Instead of answering questions, they seemingly abused the court system, knowing i had no legal knowledge and no money to fight them…
…but they never expected me to start learning and keep fighting. Have no doubt that it has been as difficult as hell for me. I’ve come so close, so many times, to falling apart or off the edge of the earth. I’m still here, motivated by my stubbornness to gain justice and by the help some of you have given me.
So, today, i played an April Fools’ joke. It was as serious and meaningful as i could make an April Fools’ joke be. It’s a joke on them for the absolute absurdity of their actions and non-actions. Secondly, it was an intended representation of the public will – what you want.
That last part was my hope in you, the regular folk of Knysna. I was betting that you wanted an end to conflict, that you want to know what’s happening in our town and feel comfortable that good leaders are in the driving seat.
My hope came true. Over 2000 of you viewed the Facebook post today, many made comments, mostly supportive, and 94 have so far clicked the Like button on FB and Knysna Keep. YOU CLEARLY WANT SERIOUS MATTERS SORTED IN AN ADULT FASHION.
Predictably, those propaganda pages (Not) Protecting Brand Knysna [FB page deleted] and (Biased) Knysna Knews had the usual malcontents sharing their small-minded, defamatory nastiness that aims to do anything but fix the mess we’re in. Remember who the people behind those pages are. Remember that it was me, not them, that revealed their identities first.
I ask that you compare my words to theirs, not just today’s but with regards every politically orientated opinion you can find. Extend that questioning to the articles of the Knysna-Plett Herald and the press releases of the Knysna Municipality.
Do not allow yourself to be manipulated. Demand better.
And make fun of our local government until it becomes the serious, trustworthy institution we need it to be!