“A cover-up is an attempt, whether successful or not,
to conceal evidence of wrongdoing, error, incompetence
or other embarrassing information.”
Why the conspiracy? Why the cover-up?
The Tourism Board and the Financial sub-committee include Municipal members who are supposed to ensure all is well. Financial reports get submitted to Corporate Services at the Knysna Municipality which has its own Director who liaises with the Financial Director who both fall under the Lauren Waring (who is also on the Tourism Board where both the DA and ANC are currently represented).
Despite these connections and many others, and the vast majority of funding coming from ratepayers’ money (a tax/levy), Lauren Waring said exactly the wrong thing which was basically that Tourism is a Section 21 company so not her business.
- Why has she refused to do her job?
- Why did she twist the truth when it’s so obvious the Knysna Municipality is playing a major role?
- Is Knysna Tourism and Knysna Municipality being responsible with your money?
- If there’s nothing to hide, why hide it?
- Again, you should ask: Why the conspiracy? Why the cover-up?
From start to end, no one did their job. We have to suspect deliberate misdeed.
The bow that neatly ties the horrible present that local government is to Knysna is what happened at Knysna Tourism. With key extracts from previous arguments, I’ll clearly show how a lot of ‘important’ people would be guilty of, at the very least, gross maladministration (which is enough to cost them their jobs), and, at the worst, gain criminal records.
If the rules of Tourism governance were enforced they’d detrimentally affect Lauren Waring (Municipal Manager), Grant Easton (Municipal Finance Director), Glendyrr Fick (Tourism Office Manager), DA and ANC members (Michelle Wasserman, Esme Edge, Georlene Wolmarans, Stephen de Vries, Richard Dawson, Magda Moos and Peter Myers), and CEOs, present and past, Greg Vogt and Shaun van Eck. Many private business owners who’ve occupied Director positions on the Tourism Board would be shamed and culpable i.e. Mark Dixon (Garden Route Trail), Nan Raturat (Villa Castollini), Kathy White (Sedgefield Arms), Ella Mapurisa (Emzini Tours), Christine Collins (Magnetic South), Marion Mack (Armadillo Studios), Dianne Pepler (Featherbed Company) and more.
Incomes would be lost, social relationships severed and dethronements from positions of power as high as ministerial level. Justice would require fines so that the money that has been irresponsibly lost and taken from the taxpayer is returned. It’s even possible that some of them would gain criminal records because they not only fucked up but then deliberate perpetuated a fog between the public and the truth. So many are culpable. A lot of people have a lot to lose.
The Knysna Tourism Corporate Governance code of practice and conduct states that the Board of Directors…
- “is responsible for the appointment of the CEO”
- “must ensure that all decisions on all material matters remain in the hands of the Board”
- are “ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE COMPANY.”
So if Greg Vogt is supposed to carry more of the blame, why is he now CEO and Shaun van Eck is out?
Those rules are clear so you have to ask yourself why the directors weren’t punished, why Tourism ran without a CEO for 21 months, why Vogt was illegally being paid R20 000 per month for 2 days work per week, why they’ve run so much interference; from blocking my emails to MEC Alan Winde blocking me from asking Helen Zille questions when she was here… and why Winde (along with Peter Myers and Magda Moos) won’t give me a copy of the recording from the subsequent meeting despite my many efforts?
Knysna Tourism was already bankrupt yet the Tourism Board had no problem spending another half a million of taxpayer’s cash on lawyers and a fat cheque for Shaun van Eck. They were in such a financial pickle that they had to borrow a similar amount from Knysna Municipality to cover their share of getting Oyster Festival 2013 on the way.
In ‘The Difficult DA & Proof They Lied – Parts 1 & 2’ i provided extensive proof of my contact with the DA regarding this issue. Their failure to remedy the situation for over 3 years not only shows the deliberate failure of the Western Cape government (and that our small town only matters when votes are needed for an election) but makes them complicit to the crimes committed.
The biggest ‘WHY?” may be, “Why did so many involved in this financial controversy retain positions of involvement?”
The probable answer is that they wanted to control the situation, shift attention away from their own guilt, sacrificing truth so that they aren’t implicated. That is a conspiracy!
The rules of Knysna Tourism and the Municipal Finance Management Act are extremely clear i.e. they are culpable for the maladministration of Knysna Tourism. I share those rules, with input from a local government consultant, in ‘Tourism Truth #4: The Laws They’ve Broken’.
It is so IMPORTANT that this issue be spread throughout our town, discussed and the matter questioned. PLEASE SHARE THIS POST and it’s follow-ups. Those of you who are Knysna Tourism members, please ensure that you email your queries (rather than verbal, so that there’s a track record) to Knysna Municipality and Nan Raturat, the Chairperson of the Knysna Tourism Board. When addressing the latter, be clear that she responds ( not Greg Vogt).