Dear Mayor Georlene Wolmarans, Deputy Mayor Esme Edge, Ward Councillor Richard Dawson and Deputy Chair CPF Western Cape Magda Moos. Your positions bound you by oath to serve the public. Was your oath truth or lie? Will you allow the public to understand, once and for all?
I challenge you to prove that you serve the public by hosting a public question and answer meeting in Council Chambers with an arbiter whose costs we will share equally from our personal (not municipal pockets). You can be joined by municipal staff members, Melonie Paulse (legal adviser) and Chris Bezuidenhout (Communication’s Manager). I will be accompanied by no more than two who are yet to be determined. I may even arrive alone. I don’t mind the odds in your favour because I have the desire for truth on my side.
Before I continue, here’s an update for the public:
DA Ward 10 Councillor, Richard Dawson, has initiated legal action against me, citizen activist, Mike Hampton – CAS NO. 03/15.
As happened previously with Deputy Mayor Esme Edge, the Knysna Chief Magistrate would not entertain an interim order preventing me from blogging. Consequently, Dawson has initiated a notice of motion against me in the George High Court. Edge has done the same but in the Cape Town High Court. I still face harassment, crimen injuria and civil suites from Knysna Tourism CEO, Greg Vogt, and DA supporter, Magda Moos, in the local court. I do not include Vogt in this challenge as Councillors have oversight over him.
All my cases involve, to varying degrees, the topic of alleged maladministration of the publicly funded, Knysna Tourism. A disciplinary inquiry led to the exit of previous CEO, Shaun van Eck (who has recently taken the current CEO to court). Oversight by Board members, which included local politicians, failed as the organisation’s finances ran into the negative. I strongly claim that there was an abuse of public money, favouritism over tenders and a contravention of the Service Level Agreement that required them to spend 20% of their budget on development. Instead, they spent it on items such as a consultant and then Board Chairperson, Vogt.
Contrary to rumours, the Auditor General did not inspect Knysna Tourism’s accounts (and, as far as I know, never has).
No justice was ever served to the public. Instead, directors maintained their positions and some were even promoted – Vogt became CEO and Edge became Deputy Mayor. They even went on to change the constitution of the organisation behind the public’s back.
There are many more topics to discuss such as the ISDF, tender irregularities and crime.
Allowing cloudy situations such as these to remain cloudy is the reason why South Africa is in such a mess. Now, instead of simply answering questions publicly, they’re out to kill accountability by attacking me into silence.
If I play it safe, and maintain silence whilst waiting for these court cases that seem to always get delayed (or more court cases to come), then the right to free speech will have been beaten by those out to beat the law. Elections will have come and gone. It’s an ironic situation which insists that I keep insisting on transparency. If I don’t, I would fail our town and consider myself a coward.
I challenge you, Georlene Wolmarans, Esme Edge, Richard Dawson and Magda Moos to discuss these matters in the public forum, date to be jointly agreed upon for late February this year. You can full one half of the public gallery and I the other.
You reserve the right to pursue your court cases against me so no need to protest with legal jargon. If both sides agree not to argue sub judice, then fair is fair.
You have until 10am on Monday, February 9 2015 to respond. Let the public find out if you are right or wrong.
If you have nothing to hide, then stop hiding!
Yours in 100% sincerity,