Dear Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces Thandi Modise
I refer you to my complaint which the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) Select Committee on Petitions & Executive Undertakings dubbed ‘The Love Knysna Petition’ . This is the case of allegations of widespread corruption by the Democratic Alliance (DA) in Knysna and the Western Cape. Whether by deliberate political intent or government incompetence, The Love Knysna Petition has limped through Parliament for three exhausting years. Eventually there were three hearings during which DA politicians were not held to account for perjury or failing to appear. The Committee was not held to account for promising to protect me but failing to do so.
Nevertheless, in September 2017, a majority of the Provinces voted in my favour, recommending to the House of Parliament that the National Office of the Public Protector investigate all my allegations and why the Western Cape offices of the Public Protector failed to do their job. Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane would have reported back to Parliament within two months had the recommendations not stagnated in your office for the past eight months.
Let me remind you what the recommendations were and I quote verbatim for the report of the committee.
“The provincial representatives of the Committee voted in favour of the following recommendations to NCOP:
- That the National Office of the Public Protector investigate all the issues raised in the [Love Knysna] petition, which involves widespread corruption and maladministration by Western Cape Government and Knysna Municipality politicians and employees
- That the National Office of the Public Protector further investigate the reluctance on the part of its Provincial Office to investigate the complaints raised in the petition
- That the National Office of the Public Protector report to the Committee on the progress it has made in investigating the issues raised in the petition, within 60 days of the tabling of this report in the House”.
Do not be bogged down by a small town’s name in that title “The Love Knysna Petition” because it affects the Democratic Allicance’s leadership which in turn will affect the coming national elections if they are exposed and punished.
In brief, the Love Knysna Petition involves tender corruption, illegal appointments, cronyism, fraud and severe intimidation. Notable examples include:
- The illegal funding of Knysna Tourism which opens a bigger can of worms in the Western Cape. This Section 21 company, with the knowledge and approval of Alan Winde, the DA’s MEC Agriculture, Economic Development & Tourism, has received approximately R28-million since I first reported it. The monies were given without tender process and never passed through the Grant-in-Aid Committee. Recently, the Municipality gained an expensive legal opinion in the hope it would protect them but, instead, it concurred with me. Nevertheless, they chose to ignore it and Knysna Tourism was funded again.
- The illegal ISDF (Integrated Strategic Development Framework) tender – www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Mb6b2L-KzE (SABC3 news clip). The ISDF is the 30-year plan for Knysna, a vast extension of the 5-year IDP (Integrated Development Plan) which South African Municipalities are accustomed to. It was rumoured that Knysna was the test case for all DA towns. Although it makes sense to decide, over the long term, where populations may settle, businesses should be developed etc, it’s counter-productive and downright scary when the foundation is a municipality and political party facing grave allegations of corruption. The first tender, arguably the most important, was given to Knysna Creative Heads which is headed by controversial property developers, the Mulders, who had the most conflict of interest. They never won the tender yet received it anyway. After years of protest by activists Susan Campbell and myself, with support from civil society, the Western Cape Local Government, as headed by MEC Anton Bredell, were forced to investigate… and then refused to hand over the damning report which had to be obtained by Campbell, through the previous Manager of the George Office of the Public Protector . In between, Bredell defied the law and the report, giving the tender the go-ahead. Then the property developers were illegally paid more (approx R300,000), over and above the tender amount. In the Provincial Legislature, Bredell repeatedly lied that various investigations had cleared it which, in turn meant he had also been cleared. Parliament has the video of that as part of the evidence I submitted.
Bruce Wessels, of the Office of the Public Protector, didn’t investigate. All he did was provide the report resulting from the Western Cape’s Treasury and Local Government’s investigation. Wessels, who has since moved on, was supposed to investigate but his successor, Landman, will not explain why he didn’t. In fact, the Office of the Public Protector has repeatedly been vague and difficult regarding many matters submitted by me. Thus, the complaint should still be considered open. Parliament was told by MEC Anton Bredell that the Western Cape Local Government was still investigating yet we have long held their damning report. Additionally, how could they still be investigating one tender four years later? After the then Municipal Manager Grant Easton’s testimony to Parliament, which was fully supported by the DA, the DA attempted a cover-up by instituting disciplinary hearings against Easton. During those proceedings, Easton quit. Despite MEC Bredell’s perjury, he has not been held to account by the ANC. 
- To get around BEE, the Knysna Municipality introduced an illegal preferential procurement policy that in practice gave non-BEE local companies business. This continued after the Auditor General made a finding against it [5 – also in charge sheet].
- The past two Municipal Managers of Knysna were illegally hired. In between, an Acting Municipal Manager illegally served a second term. Without tender or qualifications, Mayor Eleanore Spies’s friend, Fran Kirsten, was contracted to run the Communications Department. When the new CFO refused to continue paying her, she was given a job in the Mayor’s office. In the case of the illegal appointment of Director Dawie Adonis, also unqualified and approved by MEC Bredell, the Municipality responded to citizen pressure by simply moving him to another illegal position (which hadn’t been advertised). The Municipality recommended he continue to earn his more than a million in annual salary, strangely as a subordinate in a town with only 76,000 people. 
- It would appear that the DA hires cronies whose loyalty is to them and not the public so as to continue covering-up for wrongdoing. This may have had tragic consequences. During the destruction of the Great Knysna Fire, two of those in charge were not qualified and illegally appointed. It’s possible that the Fire Department was also compromised. Instead of investigating, Fire Chief Clinton Manuel threatened me twice. Instead of finding independent investigators to investigate the cause of the fire, the DA Municipality investigated themselves… and cleared themselves. This despite external reports pointing the finger at them. Not only does the DA and administration officials have a lot to lose but there’s the liability factor – an alleged R480-million in claims against them if found culpable. That may be more important to the DA than those who died and all of us who lost homes and possessions.
- For me, and hopefully for you too, Thandi, the most insidious was how the DA reacted to my expose’s. Instead of honest communication, investigation, or punishment where investigations had been concluded, all involved have gotten away with their alleged crimes and some have even been promoted. THEN THEY ATTACKED ME via a flood of court cases and social media propaganda pages [well documented in the Love Knysna Petition]. Even Captain Dewald Kitching, of the local SAPS, made comment on a DA-aligned page to demand I leave town. That, in turn, was liked by DA Deputy Mayor Peter Myers and Knysna Municipality Manager Manon McDonald. I’ve been under threat by the police before so I don’t take a Facebook comment lightly. It shows negative intention and a lack of impartial justice.
7. Enter Premier Helen Zille. She, like many other powerful figures in the DA, has been aware of wrongdoings since almost the beginning. However, she’s more directly implicated in that she met with me after an election drive in Knysna on July 21 2017. At that meeting she said she would investigate but didnt. That evidence included the crimes of two DA municipal candidates. One was the primary figure in a vicious propaganda campaign against me that sought to label me as a pedophile, mentally sick, destroyer of the economy etc. They went so far as to compose an illegal psychiatric profile of me, vouched by a doctor as if I were a patient . The other subject was Rowan Spies, the partner of Mayor Eleanore Spies who, like her, had previously been ANC. Until I exposed it, the DA had buried a forensic report into him being involved in graft . Why bury evidence against the opposition unless powerful groups are bigger than their political parties? Was it perhaps that there were already plans to bring them both into the DA fold? Despite the evidence, the DA made him a District Councillor and his wife the DA Mayor. The other politician in question, the propagandist who sent me direct threats via email, was made a PR councillor. Was that his reward? After all, despite his terrible actions against me, he was only part of the polluted wave of blue that had been crashing against me since I’d first tried to do the right thing which was to report crime.
8. Maimane’s Chief of Staff, Geordin-Hill Lewis, responded to my corruption evidence by emailing me that the DA stands 100% with their allegedly corrupt mayor and that he was instructing all Maimane’s staff to ban my emails .
There’s much more to discuss but you are in possession of the Love Knysna Petition and hundreds of pages of evidence. And as this is an open letter, readers should note that a large amount of the information is publicly available thanks to the valuable service of the Parliamentary Monitoring Group.
Secondly, there’s the absurdity of restrictions imposed on me on what I can say or not say with respect to the issues I raise in the petition and other forms of allegations of corruption in Knysna. It is my belief that the Western Cape courts have worked with the DA to try and silence me. Our system seems corrupted at all levels so as to serve centres of power. In the Western Cape, inaction by the Hawks, the Public Protector, the ANC and EFF have only served the DA’s interests.
Thandi, as the Honourable Chair of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) of the Upper House of the Parliament of South Africa, your role is important. My words may be fattened with DA corruption but it’s my fear, arising from 7 years’ painful experience that there may be ANC members protecting the DA’s crooked leadership. If that’s true, then that would mean democracy has died and that our South Africa is in deeper danger than most imagine.
But I’m choosing to hope I’m wrong and hence I’m asking you, Thandi Modise, to tell me that it’s a lie and that you will draw a definitive line between what is right and wrong and restore law and order.
Because of their repeated knowledge of corruption, most of the DA’s national leadership can be charged criminally under the Prevention & Combating of Criminal Activities Act. My evidence is repetitiously strong.
Why hasn’t the ANC and EFF jumped at the opportunity to serve a blow against the DA in the public’s interest?
THANDI, WILL YOU HELP?
What’s happening in DA is reminiscent of the National Party during Apartheid, when all levels of government had one purpose which was suppression for self interest. I live in fear of being jailed for the ‘crime’ of whistleblowing.
The House requires an update which would include what has happened after the Knysna Fire.
Thandi Modise, your delay has left me displaced and placed my life at risk. I appeal to you to speedily exercise your duty and mandate with honesty. The DA cannot be allowed to run for elections on the lie that they are anti-corruption and for good governance, transparency and accountability.
Thanking you in anticipation.
Proof of the above claims will be provided to any publication requesting such so that it is legally covered. However, some can only be sent with the condition that they will not be shared publicly owing to this author having to dodge court orders preventing the mentioning of several of the people involved. However, credibility will be found by readers in this zip folder – www.loveknysna.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Evidence.zip (download to your computer desktop, right-click on it to unzip). It follows the reference numbering in the letter above, as repeated with more detail below: James Selfe has been Executive Director/Chairperson of the Federal Executive since 1992, for the DP and DA, the DP having become the DA. In 2018, he again ran unopposed. Real power isn’t elected, it lasts longer. With the latest Zille, De Lille and Maimane fiascos, he has recently commented more prominently in the media.  I’ve written over 1000 emails to government which I’ll provide when these matters eventually get to court. I have spoken publicly to Helen Zille twice and once in private meeting thereafter. MEC Alan Winde met me and then refused to hand over the recording of the meeting. I have reference numbers from Provincial departments. I have couriered and registered evidence sent to them i.e. tracked as further evidence. Over the 3 hearings, the DA had 3 representatives in the Committee of NCOP that ruled in my favour. I’ve no doubt that the DA were the minority voting against me. The point is that lack of awareness of my evidence is impossible.  The Love Knysna Petition and many references to it are publicly available without me having to get myself in trouble.  Cliffe Decker Attorneys legal opinion on funding of Section 21 company Knysna Tourism. [5a] ISDF tender investigation signed by WC MEC Anton Bredell and Head Local Government Graham Paulse. [05b-g] Charge sheet against ex-Municipal Manager Grant Easton which includes the ISDF tender.  I share my complaints to the Public Protector regards illegal appointments.  The threats are well documented in the Love Knysna Petition but I cannot republish owing to court orders. However, this publication has received the proof for verification but on condition it won’t be published. It’s contradictory and ridiculous in that this publication had the evidence long before the court orders but I’d rather play safe. I’ve included a photo by a local newspaper that clearly shows Zille and I seated in discussion.  Forensic report strongly suggesting that Rowan Spies, partner of Mayor Spies, was involved in graft before he became a DA councillor.  Geordin-Hill Lewis’ wrongful response to corruption and complaints. This shows the state of DA Leader Mmusi Maimane’s office i.e. without integrity.  Letter sent to EFF regarding racist threats against Julius Malema.  Complaint to Public Protector regards illegal ANC study payments in Knysna.  FB post recounting Council Meeting wherein the DA’s unofficial partner, ex-ANC Velile Waxa, is allowed to re-appropriate a quarter million rand to soccer kits.