I’m featuring articles banned by the DA government through court orders. They’re relevant to the first two books on DA corruption which will be released April 1 and June 1.
The hiring of Wayne Sternsdorf as Knysna’s Sedgefield Station Commander may have been a crony hire. The people involved were Director Dawie Adonis whom I proved was illegally appointed. The other was Fire Chief Clinton Manuel who, like Sternsdorf, had escaped scandal in Cape Town.
Sternsdorf took me to court with assistance from my usual protagonists, Councillor Esme Edge and her life partner, Advocate Julie Seton. Instead of investigating my complaint, the Knysna Municipality refused to investigate and instead used Public funds to hire lawyers for the witnesses.
Magistrate Nomzaza was one of the most inept and biased members of the judiciary I’ve encountered (all will be exposed later). She refused witnesses and damning evidence. She refused to recuse herself but wouldn’t give reason why. She told a member of the Public to get out even though it was a Public trial (and then refused to explain why she did so). She found me guilty, ignoring overwhelming evidence. Disgracefully, Magistrate Nomzaza had chosen a side and I was being lynched again.
Sternsdorf and Manuel became controversial figures in the Great Knysna Fire. Manuel released a fake report regarding the cause . It was dismissed by myself, many in the Public, and later damned by external forensic investigations.
Helen ZilleI made detailed complaint to Helen Zille who refused to respond. I laid complaint against her with Graham Paulse, the Department head of the Western Cape Local Government. He failed to investigate her. That’s unsurprising because his boss is MEC Anton Bredell whom Zille wouldn’t investigate for tender fraud and cover-up thereof.
Manuel escaped his second scandal by moving back to Cape Town where he was bizarrely hired as Chief Fire Trainer. The City of Cape Town failed to answer my PAIA requests and the unions never responded to my 2018 complaint.
Sternsdorf became Knysna’s Acting Fire Chief.
Director Adonis was moved into a different position under cover of the fire disaster.
After you read this July 10 2016 article, look out for sequel about how Manuel tried to intimidate me. Of course, the DA wouldn’t investigate that either.
All was reported to the DA Federal Executive and DA Leader Mmusi Maimane. They did nothing!
Welcome to the totalitarian state of the Western Cape where democracy and human rights are a marketing gimmick. It’s a buddy-buddy system wherein we are dirt to be scraped off the boots of DA ambition.
Did the Knysna Municipality knowingly hire a white fireman who was allegedly involved in serious, unresolved racist incidents during his employment by the City of Cape Town?
The allegations include him putting a rope around a black cadet’s neck and making him walk on all fours, “like a dog”.
This is a sensitive issue so please take note that Wayne Sternsdorf, the fireman in question, is innocent until proven guilty.
False claims of racism are as bad as racism itself.
I report on it because there’s been no pursuit of truth by the City of Cape Town, the Knysna Municipality has been secretive, and my hometown public are unaware of it.
I’m a huge admirer of our firefighters. In no way is this blog meant to reflect negatively on them as a whole. It’s my hope that the members of our our fire service would have preferred this to have been speedily and professionally resolved by their bosses.
WHY THE SECRECY?
Outside the racist charges, there are other relevant questions:
Why did Knysna ignore the controversy? Did cronyism get Sternsdof his job? Was Knysna Municipality legally allowed to hire him? Why, for 4 months, did Knysna bigshots, Director Dawie Adonis and Municipal Manager Grant Easton, fail to answer my questions? Why is this serious matter not being treated seriously???
Sternsdorf was hired in September 2015 by Knysna Municipality’s Fire Station Chief Clint Manuel. Manuel had only being hired in February, around the time this controversy erupted in Cape Town.
Sternsdorf is currently the fire chief for Sedgefield and Karatara, outlying areas of the Knysna Municipality.
Manuel was apparently Sternsdorf’s boss and friend in Cape Town when Manuel was the Divisional Commander for training at Cape Town Fire Rescue Services (CTFS). That included the Epping Fire Training Centre.
The alleged racist incident happened at the same training centre. There were also other accusations of racism.
ALLEGED RACIST FIREMAN INCIDENT
Die Son, in February 2015, mentioned an email from Zolile Mhambi, the shop steward from SAMWU (South African Municipal Workers’ Union), to Richard Bosman, Cape Town’s Executive Director for Safety and Security.
The letter included the claim that, “Sternsdorf het ’n kadet vier maal teen die kop geslaan, ’n tou om sy nek gedraai en geskree: ‘Boy, you will be my dog and do what I tell you to do!’“
Sternsdorf was apparently warned that he may lose his job. Several cadets wrote affidavits against Sternsdorf.
In Sternsdorf’s defence, he claimed that it was a lie. He said that he’d laid a charge against the main cadet in question and was involved as a witness against two others. He reckoned that this was their way of trying to get rid of him.
Sternsdorf was temporarily transferred to another district so as to await the outcome of the disciplinary hearing.
Their was unwillingness to act from the beginning.
Mikel Khumalo, the SAMWU Cape Metro Regional Secretary, said that he had to threaten the City of Cape Town with protest action if they failed to act.
On April 17 2015, SAMWU members, including local shop steward, Charles Fezi, protested outside the fire department’s head office in Goodwood. Their goal was to force Bosman and Ian Schnetler, the Chief Fire Officer, to acknowledge their outcry against the alleged racist acts committed by Sternsdorf.
But the cadets were never heard. On the day of the disciplinary hearing, Wayne Sternsdorf handed in his resignation.
He then got hired by Knysna Fire Station Chief Clint Manuel, who must surely have been aware of the Cape Town controversy. The fire circle is small and the scandal was huge.
Sternsdorf’s hiring in Knysna should have been illegal because one cannot walk away from a disciplinary hearing for a government position only to occupy a similar position elsewhere. By quitting, the disciplinary procedure stops but once a new government post is gained, it returns as if never vanished.
Even if early ignorance of the alleged racist incidents is claimed, Manuel and the Knysna Municipality would’ve discovered them during the obligatory background check that accompanies a job application.
Sternsdorf would also have been obliged to disclose what had happened in Cape Town on his Knysna application form. Did he? To not do so would’ve been fraud.
It would seem that there had to have been deliberate failure.
PAYING LIP SERVICE TO RACISM
4 months ago, my email to Director Dawie Adonis said: “I understand that this is a sensitive matter. So as to not put you under pressure, i will wait 3 days for your response so long as you acknowledge this email today and assure me that you’ll treat it with the gravity it deserves.”
Georlene Wolmarans, the Mayor of Knysna, said in January, in response to another alleged racist incident, that, “Knysna Municipality strongly condemns all forms of discrimination or racism. There is no place for such acts in our beautiful town… Any acts of discrimination or racism reported or perceived are not a reflection on Knysna as a town and have no place in our society.”
Knysna Municipality chose to block cooperation.
Patricia de Lille, the Mayor of Cape Town, said in May that, “We are mobilising the voices of the majority who are not racist to speak out and condemn all forms of racism and discrimination.”
The City of Cape Town hasn’t officially responded to my queries and hasn’t pursued the disciplinary action.
The Knysna DA, ANC and COPE also, so far, failed to respond to my email.
Has the response to racism in the Western Cape become lip service?
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