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Grants:PEG/WM ZA/Gauteng meeting/Report/SMS

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Insert of SMS conversation per Charlene's entry[edit]

Herewith please find the text exchange between myself and Lourie where he is insistant that I could not make the meeting due to my busy schedule. Our telephone conversation of Thursday evening refers; That regardless of how my day is scheduled we needed to meet due to the various developments that have transpired, including WLM that was up for discussion.

Text messages refer:


On July 20th/13h57 - Hi Lourie tried calling to see where you are at Wits? My 3pm was moved earlier and not sure until what time you'll be there cos I have a 5.30 meeting at Wits.


July 20th / 14h19 - We got held up and just arrived at Wits. We will be here for some time, so then we can meet at 17h30. We areat the general engineering building.


July 20th/ 14h35 - My meeting is at 5.30 so will come through to meet at 4.30. Where the heck is the engineering building


July 20th / 14h54 - That time is good. We are in the Chamber of mines Building next to the Flower Hall on the corner of Enoch Santonga and the M1.


July 20th / 16h25 - Am two traffic lights away from the Barnato entrance of Wits and its peak time so expect me a few minutes after 4.30 thanks


July 20th / 16h40 - So where in this small building are you exactly please?


July 20th / 17h06 - We are currently driving to get lunch.


July 20th / 17h07 - Suppose we'll meet another time


July 20th /17h08 - Okay, we thought that you couldn't make it. Will stay in touch vi email.


July 20th / 17h16 - Great game you guys are playing hope you having fun laughing your heads off with the disrespect and everything else you scheming.

At no point is there any communication by myself to state that my schedule has changed. At no point is there any tet or call from you stating that you have changed the schedule. So unfortunately there have been a few of these assumptions made and I cannot feel safe with you dealing in an appropriate manner with issues of governance and or operations given the above account.

Dumisani's Response[edit]

I was at this meeting on the said date, and I do not see any sinister behavior by either Lourie or myself. We weere at the engineering building through a special pass into their cumputer lab as I was a student there some years ago. We worked on the Wiki Loves Monuments project (The budget) till 17h45 and still waited for you some more minutes. I dont think that you have posted correct times for these messages.

On issues of governance and operations... I am glad that you have aired your opinions of Lourie. But I want to state categorically that I have different opinion of Lourie with regards to the above accusation. He has been open and consistent and has dedicated countless hours including his own money in organising this competition. His dedication and commitment to the "Wiki Loves monuments" competition and WMZA chapter has been truly examplary despite his extreemly demanding student commitments and one of the reasons I chose to get involved in both activities. In the two months of my involvement, I have not received any measurable input from yourself towards Wiki Loves monuments or Wikimedia ZA. If there is anyone's "governance and or operations" abilitities that are in serious doubt, in my humble view... they are yours. --Thuvack (talk) 16:50, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

I agree with Dumi's response. I fail to see any sinister behaviour by anyone and think that Lourie should rather be commended for all the hard work he has been putting into this project. Also airing this, seemingly petty concern, in public as has been done on the Wikimedia ZA mailing list is not the best way to go about expressing a grievance (real or imagined) with another member. And as Ian has pointed out, once is okay, twice is forgiveable but three times is a pattern. Discott (talk) 17:29, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
I too want to agree with Dumi's response. In the 6 months that I have been working closely with Lourie, Dumi and others at WMZA I have only come across impeccable manners, passion, commitment and timeous communication from Lourie, despite a very demanding university schedule. I see absolutely no reason to call Lourie's 'governance and or operations' ability into question based on what looks like a technology-inspired misunderstanding. Islahaddow (talk) 09:02, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
Firstly, I strongly disagree with the remarks on the behaviour of Lourie. He has been a dream to work with, he keeps collaborating even with a busy study schedule. I owe him a lot, he helped me to turn a premature idea (WLM) from an outsider into a big project for WM ZA. :
Secondly, as an outsider, it's a pity to see a chapter with that much enthousiasm and volunteers is held back by a single board member (Charlene, not being rude but stating a truth and trust you can deal with it in that context) MADe (talk) 16:27, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Ian's Response[edit]

Hi Charlene and everyone else you have cc'd with your response to Lourie.

Lourie has asked you for a response to some other outstanding and unaddressed issues, and you have replied with a self-damning transcript including the line "Great game you guys are playing hope you having fun laughing your heads off with the disrespect and everything else you scheming."

Perhaps Lourie didn't immediately get your SMS? I have no idea, perhaps he did maliciously scheme to lure you to a meeting and then leave you stranded in the building, but a key wiki principle is "assume good faith" and you assume bad faith in this case and repeatedly in other cases. This incident is simply a minor one in a repeating pattern.

Your attack against David when, in the absence of any feedback from the rest of us, including you, he acted on another key wiki principle, "be bold" was outrageous. Instead of simply disagreeing and asking him to undo the decision, you launched a personal attack, and I am only sorry I simply resigned in disgust instead of confronting you on it as well.

Your attacks against Kerryn were equally vitriolic.

You have repeatedly shown signs of paranoia and have accused each and every member of the board of, at best, scheming. Perhaps, if every single person is scheming to get you, the problem lies elsewhere?

Your destructive communication has led to a dysfunctional and demoralised atmosphere in the board, the resignation of two board members and I'm surprised the others continue to put up with your abuse. I think the only reason I avoided any attacks while I was involved was that I didn't do anything.

If you edited one of the Wikimedia projects in the same way as you communicate with your fellow board members you would have been banned long ago.

I am no longer a member of the board, but I request as a member of the South African Wikimedia community who you represent that you step down and allow your position to be filled by a board member who understands what good faith is, and is willing to work constructively with their colleagues and the local community.

Your continued involvement on the board is doing great harm to the development of the Wikimedia projects in South Africa.

I am sorry to do this publicly and perpetuate the saga, as I prefer to deal with issues like this in private, but your unchecked public attacks on everyone else deserve a public response.

Ian Gilfillan