Jowell: Wealthy men using schoolboy bullying to silence voices in Sea Point
- Conflict among opposing groups of residents of the Atlantic Seaboard has escalated as allegations emerge of a group of businesspeople threatening those who are trying to help the plight of the homeless in the area
- An article published in the Weekend Argus was taken down after a group of powerful businesspeople allegedly threatened advertising would be pulled from the publication
- Ward Councillor for the area Nicola Jowell says this has gone beyond the issue of homelessness and is now an attempt to shut down free speech
There is a wave of concern and fear washing over residents of the Atlantic Seaboard, as the conflict between two opposing groups reportedly escalates.
For months now there have been reports of residents in Sea Point and surrounds clashing over the simple act of trying to assist those living on the streets.
Residents who say they extend a helping hand to the homeless, end up getting targeted on social media, and in person, by a powerful group determined to further their own anti-poor agenda.
We have seen a vehicle torched and have had reports of women being intimidated and harassed.
The report in the Weekend Argus claims billionaire businessman Rob Hersov, Paul Jacobson, and lawyer Gary Trappler and behind some of these dirty tactics that see them use their influence and legal knowledge to intimidate those that oppose them.
The article was removed from the online Weekend Argus site after threats against the journalist that this group would have influential business people remove the publication's advertising, notes Refilwe. and the editors will be meeting to discuss the matter further.
Sadly, we are drawn into this socio-political drama once again which is very worrying.Nicola Jowell, Ward Councillor - Ward 54
This has gone way beyond the vital demands of the homeless being removed from the area and has now morphed into this deliberate agenda of shutting down free speech and using the courts to undermine and paralyse women in the community in particular, who have been brave enough to speak out.Nicola Jowell, Ward Councillor - Ward 54
Constant threats and legal tactics are being used to silence them.Nicola Jowell, Ward Councillor - Ward 54
It's very clear I also have a target on my back and it is probably going to get a lot bigger but leaders of our community cannot remain silent because of the impact it may have on our careers or the mental backlash that will be directed at anyone who dares to speak out, from this minority among us.Nicola Jowell, Ward Councillor - Ward 54
She says while this can be viewed as normal electioneering mudslinging she feels this goes further than that.
I personally believe this is a critical moment and one I don't want to look back on in ten years' time and says I did not speak up and that my political party was also silent on the attacks on members of this community.Nicola Jowell, Ward Councillor - Ward 54
She describes what is happening as the vulnerable being further marginalised from both within and outside of the community by those with business and financial standing in society
It is nothing more than schoolyard bullying tactics.Nicola Jowell, Ward Councillor - Ward 54
Jowell notes that the Freedom Front Plus has announced Paul Jacobson as its candidate for Ward 54.
This is somebody seeking political office willing to use the courts to fight not only potential constituents but to use bully tactics to silence the free press as well which is deeply alarming.Nicola Jowell, Ward Councillor - Ward 54
She says there are court cases about defamation and protection orders against women in the community.
I won't be surprised if I end up with court papers served on me today because of this interview as well.Nicola Jowell, Ward Councillor - Ward 54
Freedom of movement is enshrined in our Constitution and we ned to protect our Constitution at all costs.Nicola Jowell, Ward Councillor - Ward 54
She says she understands the concerns of the community around the welfare of the homeless as well as what the residents endure both having validity.
But the call from the Freedom Front candidate, in this case, is the complete removal [of the homeless] and there is no law that justifies the removal of somebody from the street. They have rights under the law.Nicola Jowell, Ward Councillor - Ward 54
This has become far more about schoolyard bully tactics and it has been going on for a long time. I still believe it is a minority in the area.Nicola Jowell, Ward Councillor - Ward 54
Jowell says many residents are terrified to speak out against these people. She adds that the Facebook page they run is heavily censored, and she implores people to speak out against this attack on free speech.
Source : Image by Bruce Sutherland, City of Cape Town (permission granted by Councillor Nicola Jowell)