A WARRANT of arrest is out for Mike Hampton, an activist and whistleblower who has, for over 8 years made damning allegations of corruption, intimidation and maladministration against the DA-run Knysna municipality.
The Western Cape on Wednesday ruled that Hampton had defied a court order of 2015 preventing him from publishing defamatory information about Esme Dawn Edge, a former deputy mayor of Knysna. Justice Mantame ordered that the sheriff should arrest Hampton and he should be brought before the court to explain why he should not be arrested for 60 days.
At issue is the content on Hampton’s website www.themikehampton.com and his recently published e-book “Same Shit Different Government” in which he chronicles the alleged political corruption he uncovered in Knysna which he says, converted him to activism. “I discover that it (corruption) stretched to the political seat of power in hypocritical Cape Town. The reaction by the guilty Democratic Alliance (DA) party was to turn my life into a horror show. You can read this as a standalone book of helplessness. ‘Book 2: The Devil, The Deaf & The Dead’ will dig deeper, showing the South African government to be broken and biased. I’ll prove my case by relating my disturbing interaction with Government bodies and Chapter 9 institutions. Hopefully there’ll be a third book dedicated to punishment,” he writes in his book.
The judge has ordered that Hampton’s website be shut down and his book cannot be published on any site after April 1 2019.
Hampton is an angry man following 8 years in which he has attempted to have the allegations of corruption into Knysna municipality investigated. He has been everywhere and says he has had no recourse. In publishing the ebook, he defied several gagging orders from DA leaders.
Hampton has over the years, accused various people in the municipality including Premier of Western Cape Helen Zille and DA Leader Mmusi Maimane of acts of corruption, intimidation and maladministration. The people implicated have vehemently denied any of the accusations by Hampton. In a letter written by Zille last year, to an invitation by Hampton for a meeting, she wrote: “The allegations of corruption, intimidation and maladministration you have made against me, Minister Bredell and Minister Winde are denied. Given what appears to be your absolute refusal to accept the validity of such denial, I am advised that the method by which these allegations can be best be put to rest is now either via a court decision, or alternatively via the determination by the Public Protector”.
At the time, Zille said she would welcome “a rational, lawful investigation into the allegations”. She described Hampton’s allegations as “untested accusations in the media” which weren’t true.
The National Council of Provinces (NCOP), the upper house of the Parliament of South Africa voted voted overwhelmingly in favour of a probe into widespread allegations of corruption in the DA-run Knysna Municipality. Eight provinces – Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West – voted in favour of the motion while the Western Cape voted against.
The select committee on petitions and executive undertakings in the NCOP said they became concerned about the situation in Knysna after Hampton brought the allegations to their attention.
The committee conducted three hearings on the matter and produced a report with some findings.
It wanted some of the tenders to be investigated in order to test allegations related to the funding of Knysna Tourism with taxpayers’ money, the illegal awarding of the integrated strategic development framework (ISDF) tender to a consortium that had not scored the highest points, the illegal appointment of a municipal manager and the alleged unconstitutional blocking of Hampton’s communication at local and provincial levels of government.
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s office confirmed last year that they were investigating the matter after receiving a report from the NCOP.