Knysna DA inspires ‘no confidence’
After the political turmoil in Knysna these past few weeks, one resident is making it abundantly clear that he has no confidence in the ruling DA party.
On Tuesday 31 October the Knysna-Plett Herald (KPH) received photos of this man’s “protest”, and also a few calls from residents who noticed what was going on in Waterfront Drive.
Outside well-known Knysna business Metelerkamps in Waterfront Drive, was a blackboard with the words, “Knysna has no confidence in the Knysna DA!”.
Asked for comment, Metelerkamp declined. The sign follows a week after Ward 10 councillor Peter Myers was ousted as deputy mayor of Knysna on 25 October during a special council meeting by his own party, the DA, and after he listed a number of incidents where he spoke out against what he interpreted as malpractices.
These included the unexplained payment of R4-million to Knysna Tourism (previously known as Knysna & Partners), the alleged use of the mayoral vehicle for private purposes, the suspected interference by the mayor in the debt collection and credit control policy after she allegedly ordered the immediate reconnection of services to her defaulting neighbour’s house, and the questionable shifting of the reporting and oversight functions to the mayor’s office which he viewed as a stumbling block to openness and accountability.
Permission was given by the federal executive (FedEx) of the DA, whose chair is James Selfe, for the DA in Knysna to bring a vote of no confidence against Myers. Western Cape minister of economic opportunities Alan Winde was the one to tell Myers of this decision, on Monday 9 October.
Selfe said the Knysna DA caucus had “lost confidence in Mr Myers and that procedure was then followed”, adding, “The Western Cape executive committee concluded there was a breakdown between Myers and the caucus.”
Knysna ANC chief whip Titi Gombo said a sign like this is definitely an indication that something is wrong, although she had not seen the sign herself. “I can’t really comment on it, but it definitely means something is wrong. People don’t put signs like that up for no reason,” she said.
After queries were sent to both the municipality and the Knysna DA offices, Rowan Spies, chair of the DA Knysna constituency executive committee, contacted KPH on Wednesday 1 November, stating, “The DA in Knysna would like our citizens to know that our Constitution respects and protects freedom of expression… We welcome participation in the political debate, and encourage people to get more involved. It is also the responsibility of citizens to get perspective and information from all sides, whereafter an informed decision or opinion can be formed,” he said.
Spies closed off by encouraging Knysna citizens and voters to get involved as members of the DA, “so they can help shape our path and vision”.
This sign was placed outside a business in Waterfront Drive on Tuesday 31 October.