Shaun van Eck, the current CEO of Knysna Tourism, is incompetent. The dictionary, Merriam-Webster, includes “incompetency” in the definition of “arsehole”. He is not alone. The Board of Tourism, which includes Knysna DA member, Mayor Georlene Wolmarans, are full of bullshit too.
This mail results from the death of patience. I tried the “correct” channels and failed. Additionally, I am a poor man who cannot afford rent let alone a lawyer. Being public is my only protection. Being public is the only way to get the truth. Every day this week, I will post a blog on the real Knysna. Visit this site.
Knysna is a small town. I fully realize that what I’ve just written makes me enemies I can’t afford. I reason that I have personal anger at being let down and despise being threatened (by Shaun van Eck). That is interlinked with the failure of Knysna Tourism and Knysna municipality in their duty to all citizens of this beautiful town. That includes all races but more justified by a quote from Richard Wright’s Black Book which states, “All these white folks dressed so fine, their ass-holes smell just like mine …”. I don’t want to be one of those “white folks”. I simply want to be a good citizen of this town. I love Knysna!
I was hoping to help change Knysna from within. Initially, I queried Shaun van Eck with regards to project ideas I’d proposed and a workshop he’d cancelled at the last moment without justification. There had been a previous build-up of 2 workshops and a discussion with impoverished community organizers that was supposed to lead to practical application that would help develop Knysna. After 6 weeks of failure to get a response, I sent an email to Shaun van Eck stating that he is a liar and because he the chief embodiment of Knysna Tourism, I would not deal with Tourism anymore. I then sent a request to him and Marlene, the Economic Development Officer, for public information in the form of the past budget, the last AGM minutes, and a breakdown of their community projects. I requested this because I believe that Tourism’s finances need to be analyzed so that it can be determined if money is being allocated appropriately. I believe that it isn’t, a feeling strengthened by the fact that they will not hand over this public information.
I tried to get the DA Mayor, Georlene Wolmarans, to help and failed. This was after she said that she would. She is a liar too. I sought more Knysna Tourism Board members. None were listed on Tourism’s website or elsewhere on the net. Through others, I got hold of the contact details for Marion Mack, Nan Czank and Debbie Stanley. I mailed them, the mayor again, and the Municipal Manager (also on the Board), on June 10. Bizarrely, instead of a Board member responding, I receive a threatening and distorted email from Shaun van Eck. I responded to him and then forwarded both messages to the Board members telling them that I was going public. That was June 14. Suddenly I get a response from Greg Vogt, the vice-chairperson, stating that he has seen my email and that he and Mark Dixon, the chairperson, had not previously received my earlier mail. He said that I would be gotten hold of to set up a meeting. If this is true, then my first query is why did the 5 Board members I had initially contacted not share my complaint with the other two? And why, 6 days later, has no one contacted me?
You will often hear of the “brick wall” in this town, especially from people trying to make Knysna a better place for all. It’s unacceptable. People in positions such as the Knysna Head of Tourism and the Mayor of Knysna are not there to be powerful but to accept responsibility for bettering the lives of us citizens. All races in Knysna need to stand up and demand transparency from our local government. Bigger than race, culture and political party is the common bond we share as humans in a town where most are suffering during this Recession. Hell, most were suffering before it too.
It’s time for change. It’s time for answers. To stick with my earlier metaphor, something smells in the beautiful town of Knysna. We need more toilet paper.
PS: Shaun van Eck made it clear in his email that he would be attacking my character. Since I’m an open book and my life is online, that should be easy, furthermore because he’s the head of a “public relations” department worth millions. To this end, I offer full transparency and will answer any questions. BUT don’t let the bullshit distract you from the facts such as the budget etc. I will also post the mentioned emails online tomorrow.