As John Reed has carried out a defamatory campaign against DashingDude in particular, and Dash Africa in general, we are forced to defend ourselves, if only by relating John’s background as best as we can establish it. Then we must leave it to the Dash community to judge the credibility of John’s claims.
Both Roger Toms and Ricado Phillips have known John Reed for 15+ years, largely because John has, for much of his adult life, carried himself off as a community activist, generally for the impoverished Hangberg community. He concentrated on correcting the injustices perpetrated against the artisanal fisher folk, also on promoting the interests of the Khoi-San community of which John regarded himself a member while his credentials for such membership are dubious. Over these years he generally appeared to have no gainful employment, certainly not for any long period, but Roger regarded this as a case of “ask no questions, told no lies”!
Because of his influence within the poorer communities we regarded John as an ideal ambassador to promote Dash in those communities. At roughly the same time the opportunity with Ricardo’s kids’ football club arose, out of which we created the Dash Leopards, a community project with strong potential for national and international Dash publicity. John attached himself to the project using his old friendship with Ricardo and then the wheels slowly came off. Despite having been well-schooled by Roger, John did not create a business plan and budget for the Leopards but helped commit the club to disastrously expensive “fund-raiser” events.
John registered the Dash Leopards as a non-profit organisation and inserted himself as one of 3 directors, also as the manager with signing rights on the club’s finances. He then employed an administrator, albeit with the tacit approval of DashingDude who, although a significant club benefactor, had no real influence in the matter. Thereafter, the club’s precarious finances went into disarray, to what degree is still under investigation. What we know for certain is that much of the publicity equipment, paid for under Dash projects, was not delivered as final payments were not made to the suppliers.
As for John borrowing money in order to finance the club’s commitment to the Amsterdam Easter tournament, we can see absolutely no merit to this claim. Otherwise, why did the club fail to be represented at Amsterdam? That failure was more down to the ruinous losses made by the so-called fund-raising events: irrespective, it was certainly no fault of DashingDude and Dash in general.
John also inveigled our friend, Marcos Rodriguez-Pascal, into extending the Amsterdam trip to include a visit Barcelona: this came at the considerable personal cost of time and money for both Marcos and his friends in Barcelona. The cancellation of the trip was made without warning or apology, a simply appalling failure on the part of John Reed.
The immediate action being taken is to replace John Reed as a club director while establishing the approximate amount of club funds which has gone astray, presumably at John’s hand. At the same time we will use our best efforts to establish a stable club administration, to eliminate losses and facilitate proper planning. That will ensure the future of the Dash Leopards and allow Dash to maximise benefit from the investment already made in the club.
Tom Rogers, for DashingDude and Ricardo Phillips