Rob Hersov: My right of reply to ‘Lazy Ivo’ Vegter, DA stooge

By Rob Hersov*

When Ivo Vegter decided to do a hit piece on Gayton McKenzie and the Patriotic Alliance, the least he could have bothered to do was to get his facts straight. He does strike me as another Plett “keyboard warrior” who shoots from the hip and is too lazy to do proper research.

Firstly, he can’t even spell McKenzie’s name correctly (he spelt it Mackenzie – fixed on BizNews), and that is just the start of my issues with his diatribe.

Relying on a News24 article that News24 was forced to apologise for by the media ombudsman (a fact Vegter either doesn’t know or chose to ignore), lazy Ivo claims McKenzie was at the “centre of several financial management controversies” – when really all we’re talking about is discredited reportage from an obviously biased media outlet (Adrian Basson is Koos Bekker’s nodding dog and a true ANC apologist). Not one single substantive finding of financial mismanagement has ever emerged against McKenzie or the PA, to my knowledge (I have done the research, dear lazy Ivo).

Why Vegter chose to misrepresent the PA’s national vote tally from 2021 as 0.8%, instead of the 0.96% it actually was is a strange little mystery, but things don’t improve for him from there……………

1. The PA does not have the deputy mayorship of Prince Albert. That municipality is controlled by the DA.

2. The PA does not have the mayorship of Bitou.

3. The PA not only doesn’t have the mayorship of Koukamma, but it is also not even in government there and is in opposition to the ruling ANC.

4. And, finally, the PA is not part of the ANC-EFF government of Ekurhuleni and certainly does not have an MMC there.

The above are matters of fact that could have been easily verified, but Vegter decided his thumb was a better source of his information. “Lazy Ivo” is a moniker I think should stick.

The PA has already removed two ANC councillors from wards since 2021. They contested those wards in Kimberley and in Johannesburg and replaced the ANC. A party that is the lapdog of the ANC could not possibly do that.

Vegter writes that, because of the PA, Beaufort West had to be put under administration. Still, the PA walked into the administration in Beaufort West to find a municipality that had already run out of money before it got there. It was never under full administration but under a financial recovery plan. The municipality’s financial recovery plan was run under the PA’s mayor.

You may think what you like about all this, but at least Lazy Ivo should get his facts right.

Vegter writes very sympathetically about the DA’s feeling of “betrayal” by the PA, but I’ve tried repeatedly to understand why the DA feels so strongly that the PA “betrayed” them. Only with the single instance of the PA turning against the DA coalition in Johannesburg can an argument be made that the PA went against the coalition agreement – but even then, their reasons are very clear, and ActionSA and the Freedom Front Plus have publicly agreed that they understood the PA’s rationale at the time. Ask Herman Mashaba and Michael Beaumont or ask Dr. Corne Mulder.

The PA has offered to rejoin a non-ANC coalition in Johannesburg on another four occasions, each time with the DA rejecting them and consigning the residents of South Africa’s most important metro to governance by the EFF and ANC. The DA owes South Africans more and should, at the very least, have tried to find a deal. But they have no interest in saving Johannesburg, and instead, they blame the PA for anything and everything (message the pathetic Leon Schreiber and all you get is “PA is ANC”). The DA believes this may help it keep the PA at bay in the Western Cape but I don’t believe it will. It should be willing to do a deal; this is all I’ve been saying for over a year now.

When Lazy Ivo gets to writing about Knysna, his facts don’t get any better. He writes about “seven new senior staff positions created for cronies” but fails to mention that the DA recently lost the case against those appointments, which were found to be legal. The problems in the Knysna council are also not the kinds of things that started the moment the DA left, but I agree that it is in a dire state. To blame the PA for all the problems would be missing the point.

I don’t believe Gayton is extorting the DA. The DA is quite simply, stubbornly and childishly, refusing to mature and share power with other parties in coalitions. They want to govern coalitions as though they are the only party in power. The PA takes exception to that, and they should. Until that attitude changes (and it must) the country will not advance as a coalition-driven multi-party state. And it is very, very clear to anyone who keeps an open mind (a rare few in Plett) that the DA is rapidly losing the “brown vote” and will lose the Western Cape as a result.

To blame Gayton for putting the interests of his party above the DA’s interests (and to then make that sound as though he is in effect putting his own interests above the interests of citizens) is nothing but naked campaigning for the DA by Lazy Ivo and he should rather declare himself as a DA stooge in his byline before attempting to sell his drivel as “opinion” or “analysis”.

Of course Gayton will prioritise the PA over the DA. He’s the president of the PA. The DA should stop taking that so personally.

*Rob Hersov, a global entrepreneur who has played a disruptive role in SA politics, has been vocal in his support for the Patriotic Alliance and its president, Gayton McKenzie. Hersov is a keynote speaker at BNC#6.

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