Knysna lead­er­ship hit with litany of al­le­ga­tions

Cape Times - - FRONT PAGE - Carlo Petersen

A PAR­LIA­MEN­TARY com­mit­tee has un­der­taken to in­ves­ti­gate al­le­ga­tions of cor­rup­tion and mal­ad­min­is­tra­tion in Knysna’s DA-led mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment’s se­lect com­mit­tee on pe­ti­tions and ex­ec­u­tive un­der­tak­ings (SCPEU) lis­tened in­tently yes­ter­day as two ac­tivists sub­mit­ted a raft of al­le­ga­tions against the Knysna mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

Com­mit­tee chair­per­son Kgoshi Thobe­jane slammed the mu­nic­i­pal­ity for fail­ing to ap­pear at the hear­ing af­ter the ex­ec­u­tive mayor and the deputy ex­ec­u­tive mayor were in­vited to at­tend.

Knysna Mu­nic­i­pal­ity spokesper­son Christo­pher Bezuiden­houdt said nei­ther the ex­ec­u­tive mayor nor the deputy were sum­moned to ap­pear be­fore a com­mit­tee of the Na­tional Coun­cil of Provinces.

“We have not re­ceived a sum­mons to ap­pear… We re­ceived an in­vi­ta­tion, which we re­spect­fully de­clined,” said Bezuiden­houdt.

Knysna res­i­dents Mike Hamp­ton and Su­san Camp­bell al­leged that Knysna Tourism had been in­volved in ir­reg­u­lar fund­ing us­ing tax- pay­ers’ money. They also al­leged the mu­nic­i­pal­ity was in­volved in ten­der ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties re­lated to Knysna’s In­te­grated Strate­gic De­vel­op­ment Frame­work (ISDF) pro­ject.

Hamp­ton’s pe­ti­tion al­leges that a mu­nic­i­pal man­ager had been il­le­gally ap­pointed and other ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties re­sulted from this. Camp­bell also al­leged that an of­fi­cial had “boasted” about how the mu­nic­i­pal­ity had blocked Hamp­ton’s e-mails.

Eco­nomic Op­por­tu­ni­ties MEC Alan Winde and DA pro­vin­cial chair­per­son An­ton Bre­dell were also im­pli­cated in the al­le­ga­tions.

“Af­ter five years of strug­gle and many le­gal ac­tions by the DA against me in at­tempts to shut me up and pre­vent jus­tice, I am con­vinced that they are any­thing but the clean gov­er­nance they pre­tend to be,” said Hamp­ton.

A rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Winde con­ceded the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the ISDF ten­der was on­go­ing.

Bre­dell’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives re­fused to com­ment on the al­legedly un­law­ful ap­point­ment of the man­ager.

The com­mit­tee gave the pro­vin­cial govern­ment un­til Fe­bru­ary 19 to pro­duce a “sub­stan­tive” writ­ten re­sponse to the al­le­ga­tions.

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