Dear FMF members
Many of you will be aware that Leon Louw has resigned from the Free Market Foundation after more than two years’ inability to work within the structures of the Foundation.
We were disturbed and saddened that Leon chose to take this dispute to the media where, in breach of his fiduciary duties, he has proposed that FMF’s funders and members cease supporting the “corrupted” FMF. Please see our response HERE.
As with any voluntary association, there are, on occasion, internal issues. Ours began in the runup to the 2020 AGM when a small group tried, and failed, to hijack the organisation to further its own interests and agendas. The Board and Executive of the Foundation, with the valuable support of the members, repelled this sabotage and have been hard at work to resolve any outstanding matters.
Over the last few months, this small group has circulated defamatory and dishonest letters and emails about the Board, Executive, and members of the Foundation. Despite their best efforts, they have failed to prevent the Foundation carrying on its core work and advocacy.
The Free Market Foundation prizes freedom of expression as a necessary condition for a free society, but that other critical classical liberal value, freedom of association, is no less important. As a voluntary association, the Foundation is duty bound to protect itself from being undermined and defamed. While it is expected, during its public policy advocacy, for FMF to be disparaged and defamed by outsiders with views that conflict with our values, it is not tolerable that internal FMF associates undermine the FMF, its governance structures and its work.
It is with this in mind that the Foundation has resolved to terminate the membership of those who have engaged in serious breaches of trust and propriety within the Foundation. Merely voicing an opposing view or having a critical perspective on the affairs of the Foundation would never be sufficient for such action. Instead, those whose memberships are being, and are to be, terminated have taken additional steps, including breaching written agreements with the Foundation, vexatiously litigating or threatening to litigate vexatiously against the Foundation, and dishonestly defaming the Foundation or its associates or threatening to dishonestly defame the Foundation or its associates, especially to funders of the Foundation.
The FMF’s latest Activity Report demonstrates that the attempts at harming the Foundation from the inside have not succeeded in distracting it from its essential work to advocate for the values and principles of classical liberalism and a free market economy in South Africa. Given the deteriorating economic situation, increasing unemployment, and the potential of permanent loadshedding, now more than ever a free market would benefit everyone and put us on the road to prosperity. You can read our Activity Report HERE.
We want to assure our supporters that the FMF is working to close this unhappy chapter as painlessly and quickly as possible.
We thank you, our members, for continuing to support our work.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.
Chairman: Executive Committee