This letter is sent to the Knysna Democratic Alliance in the hope that you will no longer support bigots, nominally DA members Leon Naude and Kevin Grinaker. Bigotry, in this case, is prejudice based on race and ethnicity.
I also send this to you, Jaco Londt, the DA’s Manager for the Eastern Region (Eden District and Klein Karoo) who is also our ‘liaison’ to Helen Zille. Jaco, I include you because the Knysna DA, in so many cases, refuses to communicate which is not only unconstitutional and a failure of their election promises but unhealthily unproductive for Knysna.
16 days ago, on August 25 2014 I sent you, Louisa Hart and Ray Barrell, esteemed members of the Mayoral Committee a letter entitled ‘Urgent request for consideration at Council meeting today’. It was a follow-up to my blog, ‘Leon Naude, KRA, Racists, Protests & Politicians’, wherein I shared the public outrage that Leon Naude, the chairman of the Knysna Ratepayers’ Association (KRA), had called for live ammunition to be used against the N2 protestors. My criticism of Kevin Grinaker was that he had not only failed to criticise Naude but replied with an inflammatory suggestion for a ‘D10’ to be used.
You failed courtesy, as you have many times before when you did not respond to my email. How can leaders such as you not respond to matters of such importance? However, others were listening and the matter was brought up in the Council meeting the same day with all councillors from all parties distancing themselves from Naude. Within 24hrs, Naude was removed by the KRA as their Chairman.
The Knysna DA has an unfortunate trait of pretending that controversial issues will vanish if ignored. This time, you were forced to address the matter but appear to have fallen back into that rut thereafter.
The Council decided to send a letter of disapproval to the KRA. Where is that letter and, if it was sent, why was it not treated as a matter of public interest? After all, you would have been sending it on behalf of us, the Knysna citizens you serve. I hope that it wasn’t because the KRA is, for the most part, DA supporters and their committee members most definitely are.
Secondly, Leon Naude is on the Ward 10 Committee (Central Knysna). Until very recently, Kevin Grinaker was too. This is the same group that is supposed to be free of political bias yet was proven to be working for the DA when they refused to take my complaints against DA politicians involved in the Knysna Tourism and ISDF messes. ‘Liason’ for that Ward Committee is Richard Dawson, DA Councillor and, until recently, holder of the lofty position as Speaker for the Council.
Ironically, on the Knysna Municipality’s website, it states that “Ward Committees are established in order to represent the interests of various communities /and / recognise the value of a democratic, inclusive, open and responsive municipal council which is committed to meaningful public participation.”
The rules are clear: “A Ward Committee member must always conduct him or herself in such a manner not bring the Ward Committee and/or the municipal council into disrepute. The Speaker has the delegated authority to terminate a Ward Committee member’s membership for a reason set out in the Constitution and Code of Conduct of Ward Committee Members and after the procedure set out above has been followed.”
If I was aware of Naude’s racism after only a few weeks on the KRA committee then many of your fellow politicians and friends, with years of experience with him, must have been aware as well. But you did nothing until you were forced to. The DA were happy to have these shadows of humans representing Knysna. Well, as you’ve guessed, I’m not happy! And many others aren’t as well.
Additionally, both Naude and Grinaker are DA members, apparently, the real kind that pays membership. Naude even tried to score points when he spoke against me when I wanted Helen Zille to answer questions about Knysna.
Kevin Grinaker has publicly claimed to have been misunderstood when he said, “Can I borrow your D10 for two hours, please?” but let me make it very clear that he is lying:
- When Grinaker made his comment on the newspaper’s website, the only other comment was Naude’s. He did not criticise Naude as would have been befitting his role as a Knysna leader.
- He did not make a standalone comment. He REPLIED to Naude.
- Grinaker appears to be a Zionist. In NO WAY should my comment be misconstrued as anti-semitic. I am anti-radicals, not anti-Jews or anti-Muslim. Grinaker posts one-sided, seemingly propagandist posts on his Facebook in support of the Israel attack against Gaza. The relevant point here is that he will be well aware that the Caterpillar D10 and its sister models are horror machines that have not only been used to illegally destroy thousands of Palestinian homes and crop fields but used in offensive military operations too. There’s no way he can justify using this 60-ton monster against a handful of burning tyres on the N2.
So here are the questions you need to answer (and act on) so as to fulfil your duty to Knysna:
Will Leon Naude and Kevin Grinaker be expelled from the DA and will Naude be booted from the Ward 10 Committee? When and how will this happen?
To the many good DA members and supporters I know, I’m confident that this is not what you want for the DA. Please put pressure on your representatives to commit to better actions and leadership in Knysna – thanks.