This is an open letter to Ingrid Erlank at the Knysna-Plett Herald in response to Mike McDonnell’s ‘Letter to the Editor’ that was published in their August 14 2014 edition. I also clarify my position regards public comments made on their website about me.
On your website’s comment section, there’s someone i’ve banned from my Facebook for being biased and another lady who let me down with regards the kids i try help. They, like others, use slander, never facts or constructive argument, to support ulterior motives. My being a community activist and a person of strong opinion was never going to make everyone happy so it’s something i just have to accept. I mostly ignore their gossiping on the internet and around town.
However, Mark Allan, the owner of FindIt Knysna, was particularly. vicious on your website. My regular readers know the background to this man so realised it was a personal attack and were supportive (thank you). However, for those of your readers who were unaware, it must be noted that he is an internet troll whose previous bad actions and many fake identities resulted in the magistrate signing off on a Protection Order against him. His latest actions on your website have resulted in criminal charges being laid, as is required by law. I have written about him in dark detail at KnysnaKeep.org. That the likes of Dave Hendry (ex-Chairman of the Chamber of Business) and Shaun van Eck (ex-CEO of Knysna Tourism) have chosen to associate with him is ill-considered.
As serious as politics is, so personal can be petty in the extreme. Laughable is criticism made of those who work for Knysna by those who do nothing for her. Debate must be encouraged by media such as Knysna-Plett Herald but to give a platform to those who haven’t earned it promotes sensationalism rather than truth.
Mike McDonnell a.k.a. ‘Irish Mike’ fits into this vapid area. I’m disappointed to have to waste time by responding to his ridiculous and meant-to-be-cruel Letter to the Editor in which he compared me to Hitler and Malema with the exception that he considered them cleverer. More relevant is his lies.
His nastiness is a result of me not having spoken to him this year. Irish Mike states that, “He won’t talk to me since i dared to challenge him over something i’ve forgotten.” At that stage of silliness, KPH should have asked questions or discarded his letter.
The fact is that he’s known as one of Knysna’s worst alcoholics. His drunken incidents and outbursts have resulted in him being banned from several places. Tragically, at one stage, he lost his sanity and was admitted to hospital because of it. I fully expect the KPH to validate what i say so that it is understood as fact and not reactive pettiness. I’m not going to detail my history with him or what else i know as that would be irrelevant to him needing help as soon as he’s prepared to help himself. I don’t want such nonsense in my life, and only knew him through others, so i chose to have no contact with him. Although i have kept silent and distant, he has continued to send letters about me to the Knysna Municipality and SMSes to all and sunder. That some are written whilst intoxicated is obvious. Some people just need a devil to blame for their own lives.
What is relevant to Knysna is that in an attempt to disguise his personal attack, he distorted what happened between me and Helen Zille at The Lofts on Knysna Waterfront. I’ve written about this extensively but the most pertinent facts here are
- Knysna wasn’t discussed at all by Helen Zille in her only public meeting in years. That Leon Naude, head of the very small Knysna Ratepayers’ Association and who is known for cursing the DA, supported Helen’s decision not to answer questions was a cheap shot at me at the expense of Knysna.
- There was no “hijack” of the meeting and there was no “parish pump issue” – i doubt anyone knows of an issue such as that.
- Irish Mike also leaves out that my request for answers resulted in a meeting with MEC Alan Winde the next day.
Knysna must be considered before egos and attempts at personal revenge for matters irrelevant or of no importance. The challenges facing Knysna are bigger than any of us – put Knysna first.
Knysna-Plett Herald, i love the recent changes but please check the background of your letter writers and ensure that they are genuine contributors to debate. Adding their photo is more likely to ensure that they own their words.