Locals jump to councillor’s defence

2019-12-17 06:00
Mark Kleinschmidt, councillor for ward 60, with the poster in the parking area at Lansdowne railway station.

Mark Kleinschmidt, councillor for ward 60, with the poster in the parking area at Lansdowne railway station.

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Not all of the vagrants occupying the Lansdowne Station Car Park are happy with the clean-up that is currently under way there. The clean-up is part of a project – spearheaded by Mark Kleinschmidt, councillor for ward 60 – to make the station more presentable to commuters.

“A vagrant feels threatened by the clean-up and created a poster stating his dissatisfaction with what is going on in and around the station. I am happy that he’s creating awareness, and that residents are responding, saying that, on the contrary, I’m compassionate and caring,” he chuckles.

The poster reads: “‘Kleinschmidt’ is a homeless abuser. We go nowhere, Lansdowne is home.”

“As a former principal, I’ll compliment him on his language usage, neat handwriting and spelling my long surname correctly. However, he must read the People’s Post article (“Station clean-up on a roll”, 10 December) with comprehension, because he misinterpreted some (information), because I’m no ‘homeless people abuser’. On the contrary, I pray regularly with those who want prayers; I secure identity documents for those without so they can secure work and open bank accounts,” Kleinschmidt says.

Kleinschmidt’s neighbours, colleagues, friends and family were quick to defend him and the work that is being done at the station.

Lansdowne CPF secretary, Roy Smith, responding on a neighbourhood watch chat group, said: “Whoever did that is willfully ignoring what is being said and done to alleviate their situation. Cllr Mark Kleinschmidt has been quite vocal and proactive about what they are doing to assist the homeless as a City.

“I’m not saying it because I know Cllr Mark Kleinschmidt, just from what is presented in public meetings.”

Another neighbourhood watch patroller, Taariq, agreed.

“I agree with Roy and Munier, Cllr Mark Kleinschmidt is a loving, compassionate guy; always there to help the community.”

With the City’s social development directorate, stakeholders meet on a Tuesday evening between 18:00 and 20:00 to discuss topics related to homelessness and conduct upskilling programmes.

“I’m also making applications on homeless persons’ behalf for identity documents which is required for employment and opening bank accounts. Ratepayers and residents are happy that, after several years of unsightly anti-social behaviour, something positive is being done to rehabilitate and restore the Lansdowne Station Precinct.

“I love this poster because my surname is spelt correctly. This event – to make the station and surrounds more presentable to commuters, the first of its kind – is my way of honouring my beautiful daughter and to raise awareness about diabetes on a grassroots level. When we started the project it was well attended for a first-time event,” Kleinschmidt says.

Not all of the vagrants occupying the Lansdowne Station Car Park are happy with the clean-up that is currently under way there. The clean-up is part of a project – spearheaded by Mark Kleinschmidt, councillor for ward 60 – to make the station more presentable to commuters.

“A vagrant feels threatened by the clean-up and created a poster stating his dissatisfaction with what is going on in and around the station. I am happy that he’s creating awareness, and that residents are responding, saying that, on the contrary, I’m compassionate and caring,” he chuckles.

The poster reads: “‘Kleinschmidt’ is a homeless abuser. We go nowhere, Lansdowne is home.”

“As a former principal, I’ll compliment him on his language usage, neat handwriting and spelling my long surname correctly. However, he must read the People’s Post article (“Station clean-up on a roll”, 10 December) with comprehension, because he misinterpreted some (information), because I’m no ‘homeless people abuser’. On the contrary, I pray regularly with those who want prayers; I secure identity documents for those without so they can secure work and open bank accounts,” Kleinschmidt says.

Kleinschmidt’s neighbours, colleagues, friends and family were quick to defend him and the work that is being done at the station.

Lansdowne CPF secretary, Roy Smith, responding on a neighbourhood watch chat group, said: “Whoever did that is willfully ignoring what is being said and done to alleviate their situation. Cllr Mark Kleinschmidt has been quite vocal and proactive about what they are doing to assist the homeless as a City.

“I’m not saying it because I know Cllr Mark Kleinschmidt, just from what is presented in public meetings.”

Another neighbourhood watch patroller, Taariq, agreed. “I agree with Roy and Munier, Cllr Mark Kleinschmidt is a loving, compassionate guy; always there to help the community.”

With the City’s social development directorate, stakeholders meet on a Tuesday evening between 18:00 and 20:00 to discuss topics related to homelessness and conduct upskilling programmes.

“I’m also making applications on homeless persons’ behalf for identity documents which is required for employment and opening bank accounts.

“Ratepayers and residents are happy that, after several years of unsightly anti-social behaviour, something positive is being done to rehabilitate and restore the Lansdowne Station Precinct.

“I love this poster because my surname is spelt correctly. This event – to make the station and surrounds more presentable to commuters, the first of its kind – is my way of honouring my beautiful daughter and to raise awareness about diabetes on a grassroots level,” Kleinschmidt says.

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