Sunday 16 May 2021
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Sparks fly between Reho PRO and community activist(s)

By Marshallino Beukes

Tensions reached their boiling point in Rehoboth, when the newly appointed Public Relations Officer of the Rehoboth Town Council, Desire Theunissen and community activist and local businessman, Herman van Wyk had a public spat on social media platforms.
Cases including assault by threatening and crimen injuria were filed by Theunissen and Van Wyk against each other at the Rehoboth police station recently.
This transpired after Theunissen apparently called Van Wyk, confronting him about an article regarding her, which was published in The Villager newspaper, which Van Wyk on his part, shared on social media.
As per Van Wyk she asked him why he just can’t leave her alone, on which he allegedly replied that she has insulted him and the Rehoboth community at large in prior social media conversations.
The PRO then apparently called him a “moffie” before cutting of the telephonic conversation.
It allegedly did not end there, as someone claiming to be Theunissen’s brother soon afterwards called Van Wyk’s office at Rehoboth, telling his secretary to warn him (Van Wyk) to leave his sister alone or he will get beaten up.
The relationship between Theunissen and activists in Rehoboth turned from bad to worst after posts flying back and forth on social media turned personal.
In one of the posts one “Haka” complained about the disconnection of water services at the town because of lack of means, remarking that this action by the Rehoboth Town Council is in direct violation of human rights.
Commenting on another post, Theunissen lashed out against the Rehoboth community, accusing them of doing nothing about their neighbours selling drugs to school children, intoxicated school children at shebeens, young men acting like barbarians in public.
According to her post young people at the town are failing the legacy which their ancestors left behind, describing the older generation as “prosperous and educated” people, unlike the youths of today. She also minced no words when accusing Rehoboth residents of being responsible for the downfall of their town.
The Patriot was present at the police station when Van Wyk filed his case. Theunissen filed her case earlier in the day, where after the investigating officer contacted him (Van Wyk) and requested him to come to the police station.
However, there was some confusion, after the police officer at the charge office explained to him that they (police) do not accept cases founded on telephonic conversations anymore, apparently in line with a court order. Van Wyk then wanted to know why then did they accept the case filed by the PRO earlier the same day against him, leaving the police officer flabbergasted.
The police officer then called Inspector Husselman from the detective’s department and he noted that she can allow Van Wyk to open the case.
Husselman later explained to Van Wyk that the police officer was correct in her explanation but noted that they look at the circumstances (significance of the allegations) first before deciding if it has merit or not to proceed.
It also came to The Patriot’s attention that the PRO apparently made a phone call to the State Prosecutor at the town, prior to filing the case and permission to open the case against Van Wyk was granted. Van Wyk was ordered to return the next morning in order for him to be officially charged and appear in court, whereafter he would have had to possibly pay an admission of guilt fine. Upon arrival at the Rehoboth magistrate’s court, with Van Wyk ready to defend his name in court, the State Prosecutor decided not to prosecute and both cases were dismissed. Theunissen was asked to comment on this matter by this publication and responded with a blank email.
Theunissen was appointed as Public Relationship Officer at the Rehoboth Town Council earlier this year, after things turned sour for her at Gibeon, where she occupied the position of Chief Executive Officer. According to reports in a local newspaper, she was allegedly confronted by the village council for absenteeism and also accused of incompetence.
She reportedly resigned shortly after the Gibeon Village Council confronted her.

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