Attention: Acting Chairperson Moses Mhlanga
NCOP: Select Committee Petitions and Executive Undertakings
Reference: Love Knysna Petition
Date: June 4 2017
Print/Sent via Email: Email
Honourable Chairperson Moses Mhlanga,
On May 24 2017, at the third hearing of the Love Knysna Petition, you stated that witness Susan Campbell and I would be protected. Owing to renewed attack by the Democratic Alliance, I’m asking that you uphold your commitment.
The following day, May 25, Knysna Municipality and Executive Mayor Eleanore Bouw-Spies issued a propaganda press release against us. It begins with, “Knysna has once again fallen victim to allegations brought by serial blogger, Mike Hampton and Knysna resident, Susan Campbell…”
It was shared by DA councillors Mark Willemse and Martin Young as well as ex-councillors and municipal staff, including those accused by me of corruption.
In response, Richard Thorpe, the Chairperson Knysna Ratepayers’ Association, commented online, on an ex-DA Councillor’s page, that, “I never thought that only two people can cause so much damage to a town.” He’s referring to Campbell and me.
The press release was posted in full in an online biased newspaper call The Gremlin and, in parts, on the Knysna-Plett Herald website.
The Knysna-Plett Herald posted 3 articles yet never contacted me for comment despite me, obviously, being a main figure in the subject matter.
The Gremlin, run by Bruce Middleton, showed how deep the Municipality’s new deception went, posting two attachments as supposed evidence in support of the press release. The first was the Municipality’s 2016 submission to the Committee, long-discredited owing to the subsequent investigation and disciplinary hearing of ex-Municipal Manager Grant Easton. The second attachment, the preferential procurement policy, was as outdated, the Auditor General has found it illegal, our town having lost millions, and it forms one of the charges against Easton.
As per the communication policy, either Mayor Spies or Acting Municipal Manager Johnny Douglas had to have signed off that press release.
Mayor Spies also posted on her Mayoral Facebook. She used the love icon to support a comment by an obviously fake profile that called for me to be banned from Knysna. It’s notable that that profile had inside knowledge, possibly being the Mayor herself or one of her friends in her illegally run Communications Department. The romantic partner of the Communication’s Manager was attacking me there, one of his comments liked, around the same time, by Mayor Spies.
Mark Allan, the self-admitted propagandist who previously worked with the DA on social media to associate me with child abuse and sociopathy, has returned strongly, especially on the Knysna-Plett Herald’s page. The newspaper’s Editor Elaine King and owner Group Editors Director Nicole Rimbault have continually refused to remove him despite the disgusting things he says, his direct attempts at character assassination, and that I have got a protection order against him.
DA LIES PROTECTING CORRUPTION
The Mayor’s statements are not factual but rather riddled with lies and defamation. In no way are any of our allegations addressed. The goal is simply to discredit us.
This continued, the following day, on May 26, when May Spies made a statement during the Council Meeting, singling me out. In a great, hypocritical moment, she said she welcomed forensic audit regarding my allegations of corruption and maladministration but, 2 hours later (supported by her fellow DA councillors and Shakespeare Arends, their ACDP coalition partner), voted against it.
Additionally, it’s a fact that the Mayor lied to the Committee. Her excuse for requested postponement, her need to work on the budget, was a blatant falsehood. Her and half the DA councillors, including Speaker Wolmarans (who was the previous Mayor who failed to appear before the Committee in 2016), were 300km away in Beaufort West, campaigning for the DA. The return trip, alone, would’ve been 7 hours.
It cannot be considered a coincidence that Susan Campbell falsely heard, at the airport, that the hearing had been postponed. I would later discover for myself that Councillor Martin Young, one of Mayor Spies’ allies who’d been a major figure in the propaganda campaign against me and had threatened businesses if they dealt with me, had posted that lie on Facebook. Via email, he claimed to be misinformed but refused to explain where he’d gotten the information.
The DA has again emphasised their previous and obvious disregard for Parliament and it’s Committee. Arguably, they’ve even less for Ms Campbell and me who threaten their livelihood and, possibly, their freedom.
Worried that the Committee would be taking to long to reach a decision, I appealed to the Municipality as well as the DA’s leadership in Cape Town, even threatening with criminal charges. Rather than being fair by stating investigation, Mmusi Maimane’s new Chief of Staff, Geordin Hill-Lewis, arrogantly sent an email saying, “I stand 100% behind our Mayor. Look forward to cross-examination, and am not in the slightest bit intimidated by you.”
I’ve attached evidence for all that I’ve said above. By no means is this all that has happened. However, I’ve added related blogs so as to assist your understanding (published by me to expose the lies and propaganda).
I should be preparing for another court appearance on June 8, the staff of Knysna Municipality versus me representing myself. Instead, I’ve spent an unbearable amount of time protecting mine and Campbell’s names whilst informing the public of the truth. It’s quite possible that part of Mayor Spies’ goal was to waste my time and make me unprepared for court.
Campbell has made me aware that she’s submitted a similar complaint to the Committee but also asking for an investigation into Mayor Spies’ conduct regards the Committee. I reiterate that.
PROTECT WHISTLEBLOWERS & INVESTIGATE MAYOR SPIES
It’s my realistic concern, in light of my evidence to the Committee of past events, that matters worsen for us.
I don’t feel safe in my bed at night yet I’m expected to wait up to a year before Parliament rules on whatever your Committee recommends.
Active citizenry, standing up for what’s right, should not have to endure attack by the corrupt and those protecting the corrupt. Please protect us.
Mike Hampton (Petitioner)
Love Knysna, Save Knysna!
NB: That selfie was after I was attacked by a drug-dealing neighbour in 2012. At that stage, I was incredibly unpopular for taking on the now-discredited CEO of Tourism who was then much liked by our tourism-based economy. I wondered if that played any part in SAPS failing to investigate properly or the public prosecutor failing to prepare. Neither mentioned the death threat I’d received. There was no investigation of a second threat, easily traceable as it was via SMS from a displayed number. And the cops only raided my attacker’s home 2 days later (which was obviously enough time for the drugs to be gone). What I know for certain is that my relationship with the higher ranks of the Knysna SAPS never improved and that their failure in so many cases thereafter, directly related to the intimidation of me, has only favoured the Democratic Alliance whilst disfavouring me.
Evidence sent to Select Committee Petitions and Executive Undertakings :
- AMM01a->f Knysna Municipality ‘press release’ on Facebook
- AMM02a->c Shares of press release by DA Councillors
- AMM03 KRA Chairperson Richard Thorpe
- AMM04a->c Knysna-Plett Herald
- AMM05a Knysna Municipality press release on Gremlin with 2 attachments
- AMM05b Gremlin – attachment 1
- AMM05c Gremlin – attachment 2
- AMM06a->h Mayor Eleanore Spies Facebook
- AMM07a->d Mark Allan examples
- AMM08 Council meeting recording
- AMM09a Beaufort West comment
- AMM09b Beaufort West photo of Mayor
- AMM10a Councillor Martin Young saying hearing postponed
- AMM10b Councillor Martin Young emails
- AMM11 Mmusi Maimane’s new Chief of Staff, Geordin Hill-Lewis
- AMM12a->q – my blogs & articles in defence
Susan Campbell, my witness, has declined to make her letter public. However, it should be noted that her legally educated letter is stronger and more pointed than mine.