Parliamentary committee to probe complaint against Knysna municipality

10 February 2016 - 20:43
By TMG Digital
Image: Getty Images

Parliament’s Select Committee on Petitions and Executive Undertakings says that after having listened to a petition of maladministration and financial irregularities against Knysna municipality it has resolved to investigate the matter further in order to arrive at a sound determination.

The petition was submitted by Mr Mike Hampton‚ a community activist from the Knysna area‚ who is complaining about the alleged irregular funding of Knysna Tourism with taxpayers’ money.

He is also complaining about the alleged illegal tendering of the Integrated Strategic Development Framework (ISDF) for Knysna to a company which had not scored the highest points and is headed by a local property developer.

His petition also alleges an illegal appointment of a municipal manager and the irregularities resulting from his appointment.

“The petitioner also claims unconstitutional blocking of his e-mails by the municipality. In addition‚ he alleges that his efforts seeking intervention from the Western Cape Provincial Government were in vain.

“He also claims that the local media has been barred from carrying his articles‚ but the same media would write stories about him and not give him an opportunity to respond. He attributes this to the community media not wanting to lose revenue as they depend on municipal advertising‚” the committee said in a statement.

It added that representatives of the provincial government - from Local Government and Finance – had been present “to respond to matters in their purview”.

“Provincial Finance Department conceded to being aware of the ISDF Tender investigation of 2014‚ but said it was still ongoing thus could not pronounce on the findings.

“Both provincial representatives were mum on allegations of unlawful of appointment of the municipal manager and other matters contained in the petition. The Committee resolved to give them until 19 February 2016 to furnish it with substantive responses as the ones provided lacked detailed information‚” the committee stated.

It expressed its displeasure at the absence of the Knysna Municipality which it said happened to be a critical player in the matter. The committee added that it would not hesitate to use constitutional provisions available at its disposal to ensure that this did not recur and that this matter was put to rest.