ANC puts petty politics ahead of the people of Cape Town

The ANC in the City of Cape Town has, this morning, withdrawn their motion of no confidence against Mayor Patricia de Lille that was to be debated in Council today.

While they had initially claimed that their motion was brought on by numerous allegations of maladministration against the mayor, they have demonstrated today that they would much rather engage in petty party politics than do what is best for the people of Cape Town.

The DA’s Federal Executive had taken an unprecedented decision to place narrow political interests aside and vote for the motion of no confidence due to the prima facie evidence against the Mayor brought to the fore by an independent council investigation and the Auditor General.

The ANC has been fully appraised of these facts. They are aware that the independent investigation took the view that the Mayor had demonstrated behaviour and actions which constituted gross misconduct, gross dereliction of duty, and conduct that amounted to deceiving Council.

In addition, they have full knowledge that the AG downgraded the City’s audit status from clean, to unqualified with conditions. These findings include:

  • Failures of leadership at the first level of assurance, which includes the Executive Mayor, and the subsequent governance breakdown that flows from that. It is worth noting that:
    • The vast majority of financial findings relate to the Transport and Urban Development Authority (TDA) which the Mayor has routinely and very publicly defended;
    • The AG found regression within the control environment as a result of poor leadership. These include:
      • Poor consequence management of senior managers, namely the Commissioner: TDA, in the execution of her duties as Mayor;
      • Poor leadership and degeneration of trust. This finding by the AG directly correlates to the Executive Mayor’s failure to allow officials to do their jobs and follow the control procedures of the law and regulations, as confirmed in the testimony of the former City Manager in the independent investigation mandated by Council;
      • Consistent loss of revenue within the TDA, which was allowed to continue systematically for years despite the AG alerting the City to this risk multiple times.  It is worth noting that the Mayor has consistently denied this fact and has given credence to the explanation of the Commissioner TDA, who has in fact been suspended and the subject of a disciplinary; and
      • Irregular expenditure, namely the preferential bias in favour of a supplier in the matter of the procurement of the BYD buses. This has been determined to be irregular by the AG and now constitutes a realized and dramatic risk to the City.
      • Public statements that the AG had vindicated her on upgrades to her home. However, the AG in the disclosure and listing of irregular expenditure in the financial statements has in fact found that these upgrades were irregular- exposing previous claims by the Mayor as blatantly false.

It is not surprising that the ANC have ignored these crucial facts in the interest of politicking.

The DA has tabled its own Motion of No Confidence against the Mayor based on the reasons stated above and this should be debated within 10 days of the motion being tabled with the Speaker of Council.

The decision to support today’s motion was made with the realisation that the findings by the AG and the independent investigation are damning and variant to the principles of DA governments which seek to be free of corruption, efficient and focused on delivery to the people that we serve.

This has been informed by the understanding that the governance failures which have been allowed to thrive under Mayor de Lille have completely compromised the City’s ability to deliver effectively. This is particularly concerning in light of the current drought crisis we find ourselves in. That is why the DA moved to remove her from the management of the drought as she sought to actively undermine the efforts to deal with it effectively.

She actively withheld information, misdirected officials, delayed budget decisions, interfered with project plans and undermined the rollout of augmentation projects as a result. Furthermore, she failed to push national government to fulfill its legal responsibilities – at the cost and risk to the residents of Cape Town. This is in of itself has posed a massive governance risk.

While DA Federal Executive believes in the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise, and agreed for the mayor to be subjected to internal processes to clear her name, continuous acts of defiance from her and new damming revelations have resulted in her own caucus tabling this motion.

Commitment to the principles that the DA stands for is never easy. Putting the residents of Cape Town first is our number priority, something that the ANC has never been able to do. We will therefore move ahead with this motion in order to restore Cape Town to the best run City in the country.

DA Federal Executive resolves to formally charge de Lille in the interest of good governance

Today the Federal Executive of the Democratic Alliance met to deliberate on matters relating to the Mayor of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille.

In its deliberations, the Federal Executive was guided by the best interests of all the people of Cape Town and by our deep and abiding commitment to delivering clean, accountable and transparent government wherever we may govern. It is the value of the organisation that all South Africans are equal before the law and that all rights must be upheld, regardless of race and gender. The deliberations occurred in the context of an unprecedented drought and the need to deal with its consequences as comprehensively and decisively as possible.

The true test of any political party is what it does when confronted with serious allegations of political dysfunction, maladministration and governance failures. And the DA, unlike many of our political competitors, stands largely alone in acting with resolve in confronting such matters, even when those decisions may carry a possible political cost. We understand that no political party is perfect in the execution of its functions, but for us, our principles and values, and the overarching imperative to act in the best interests of the citizens is what guides us at times like these.

It is also for this reason that the DA has sought to uphold due process and the rights of Mayor de Lille and a number of councillors throughout this evolving matter. We have as a result sought to limit our public communication out of respect to the rights of all involved and the issues concerned. This has created some sense of public confusion as to the reasons why a number of decisions and actions have been taken with regards to Mayor de Lille.

It is disappointing that Mayor de Lille has not displayed a similar regard for the best interests of the Party, or indeed a similar level of respect for due process, as evidenced by her making a number of misleading and often distortionary public statements throughout this process; both with regard to DA procedures, as well as to a variety of Council initiatives that have sought to probe her conduct, amongst other matters. In so doing she has compounded an already difficult situation and the party was thereby brought into disrepute.

Let us be clear that we reject, with absolute contempt, any claims that the concerns arising from the conduct of Mayor De Lille relate in any way to a disagreement over the need for spatial transformation in Cape Town. This was a key manifesto commitment of the DA in the local government elections of 2016 and thus it is a mandate of the Party, and not the preserve of any one individual, as some have falsely claimed, including Mayor de Lille.

The Federal Executive mandated John Steenhuisen to lead a sub-committee to investigate and report back on the evident tensions and divisions within the caucus. The sub-committee also included Gauteng Provincial Leader, John Moodey, Free State Provincial Leader, Patricia Kopane and ADAC Chair Karen Smith. All leaders within the DA with significant experience and sufficient distance from the internal dynamics of the Cape Town caucus.

The aim of the process was to inquire into the growing divisions in the City of Cape Town DA caucus under the leadership of Mayor de Lille, as well as a growing list of substantive complaints about the nature and style of the Mayor’s internal leadership. This was a process of exercising political judgment, in response to political problems and issues, rather than seeking to approach the matter as though it were a narrow legal question or issue.

The sub-committee held many days of hearings and heard testimony from a large number of councillors. The Mayor was invited to appear before the sub-committee. She declined the invitation, and instead, as was her right, chose to communicate to the sub-committee through her legal representatives. She was given a lengthy extension to do so, in order to ensure that her procedural rights were respected.

The report of the sub-committee, together with Mayor de Lille’s representations, were considered at length by the Federal Executive at a meeting on 10 December.

The sub-committee made a number of observations that now need to be tested by the FLC. Amongst a number of issues arising, the Federal Executive deliberated on the following aspects:

  • Evidence of deep divisions within the caucus of the City of Cape Town. These divisions were shown to have been a result of the Mayor’s particular leadership style which is overwhelmingly viewed as unnecessarily autocratic, divisive and misaligned to democratic principles of openness and tolerance. It became clear that this had contributed to creating a paralysing culture of fear among both elected public representatives, as well as officials in the City of Cape Town. The consequence of which was a material impact on rational, accountable and transparent decision making in the City.
  • The organisational restructuring led by the Mayor appears to have been used in certain instances to remove experienced officials in the City, with a view to replacing them with officials whose loyalty to the Mayor was prized over all else.
  • Under the Mayor’s leadership key decision making structures had been stripped of powers and functions, seemingly with a view to centralise overwhelming power in the Mayor, undercutting the authority and democratically enshrined role of the Mayoral committee, portfolio committees and sub-councils, as well as the DA’s commitment to bringing government as close to the people as possible.
  • It appears that the Mayor interfered with and manipulated appointments at a senior management level within the City and some of its entities.
  • A growing sense of a loss of confidence by the caucus in the leadership of the Mayor which affected governance in the City negatively and undermined effective service delivery.
  • In particular, the Mayor’s often irrational, autocratic and divisive leadership style was seen as especially problematic, and it was claimed saw her often overstep the boundaries of her authority and personally direct operational decisions such as the specification, awarding and timing of tenders, in an ad-hoc and highly inappropriate fashion.
  • This, in turn, had created the real risk of an impending loss of senior and skilled technical staff from the organisation, as a result of often intolerable working conditions for professionally qualified and legally mandated officials.
  • The claims made in a Protected Disclosure by Craig Kesson, the Executive Director in the Directorate of the Mayor, as it related to allegations of maladministration and serious governance irregularities, and the Mayor’s alleged role therein.

After careful consideration of these primary points of concern, the Federal Executive at the time asked the Mayor to provide reasons as to why she should not resign.  The need to act with dispatch was heightened by the prolonged drought and our desire to ensure that there was unity of purpose within both the political and administrative leadership of the City to effectively govern Cape Town and respond to this issue.

The Mayor was again afforded a lengthy extension so as to be given sufficient time to make her representations to the Federal Executive on why she should not resign. This submission, as well as the Mayor’s oral representations to the Federal Executive, have today, been further carefully considered, debated and discussed.

In its deliberations, the Federal Executive could not ignore the fact that for the first time in Cape Town’s history, a Council-mandated independent investigation took the view that the sitting Mayor had demonstrated behavior and actions which, on the basis of extensive evidence before them (including the Mayor’s own representations), prima facie constituted gross misconduct, gross dereliction of duty, and conduct that amounted to deceiving Council.

These concerns relate to a range of extremely serious governance failures, including the MyCiti Bus service and the foreshore development projects, and her apparent role in actively covering up these failures. Her alleged improper conduct includes, but is not limited to, actively obstructing remedial and disciplinary action being taken for losses from the MyCiti system which at this stage are conservatively estimated at R36 million but could be far greater due to inherent problems with City systems and data preventing precise reconciliations while the Foreshore Freeway Project is potentially worth billions of rands.

It is further particularly disturbing that the Mayor sought to personally target the officials who originally bought these allegations to the fore and tried to prevent an independent investigation from occurring. She personally authorised multiple reports against Kesson at the Special Council meeting of 21 November that aimed to prevent the investigation into the City Manager and TDA Commissioner Melissa Whitehead. Those recommendations have her signature and her approval of the Council agenda. The Mayor’s desires were overturned because the DA caucus (not the Mayor) called for an independent investigation.

The Mayor has at all times sought to defend not only her conduct but also that of the City Manager and the Commissioner for TDA, Melissa Whitehead. This despite the fact that these officials are currently the subject of a Council approved disciplinary and suspension processes.

Whilst these processes must run their fullest course, the Mayor, as she herself has avowed, must take ultimate political responsibility for these profoundly serious allegations which have happened under her watch, and in many instances with her active participation. And in this regard, it is noteworthy that the City Manager has independently claimed, as reported in the media, that the Mayor has prevented the proper conduct of Council business.

Whilst there is indeed more work for the investigators to undertake, as it relates to pursuing additional information and leads, and that the disciplinary processes into the officials concerned must be allowed to run their full course, it remains deeply problematic that only certain sections of the report were made public.

This is despite the fact that the entire caucus voted for the adoption of the recommendations and that the report had a confidential status.

As a consequence of these governance failures, the Auditor-General has twice been forced to delay issuing the City’s final audit status – these are massive and novel risks for Cape Town.

Finally, the Mayor ill-advisedly in her public communication has sought to prosecute a false and disingenuous narrative as to the motives of the Federal Executive in pursuing this course of action. This is deeply regrettable as it has misled the public and masked the very serious concerns as they relate to her leadership and effective governance of the City.

The DA is determined that we do everything possible to bring unity of purpose and cohesion to the City of Cape Town. To build on the successes that have previously been achieved, and most importantly, in the current context do everything we can to manage the current water shortages, in collaboration with provincial and national government, who share the responsibility of ensuring that everything humanly possible is done to ensure that Cape Town does not run out of water. This must and will be the most pressing priority of the administration of Cape Town and thus it is essential that we act swiftly.

The Federal Executive has thus resolved that the Mayor be formally charged and investigated by the Party’s Federal Legal Commission. The charges that will be brought against her are the following:

That she is guilty of alleged misconduct in terms of the following sections of the Federal Constitution: deliberately acts in a way which impacts negatively on the image or performance of the Party; fails to carry out his or her duties and/or responsibilities according to standards set by the Federal Council of the Party or of the relevant Provincial or Regional Council, or to standards required by any statutory rules of conduct required by the public office he or she holds; brings the good name of the Party into disrepute or harms the interests of the Party; acts in a manner that is unreasonable and detrimental to internal co-operation within the Party; unreasonably fails to comply with or rejects decisions of the official formations of the Party;


  • acted in an improper and unlawful manner in respect of the reappointment of the City Manager of the City of Cape Town by unduly influencing members of the Selection Panel responsible for the scoring of those candidates shortlisted and interviewed by sending members/a member of the Panel a text message reading “I want to keep Achmat  so score him highest. Thanks.”
  • acted in an improper and unlawful manner in respect of the appointment of Limia Essop to the Stadium Management Board by inter alia exercising her authority to finalise the shortlist of candidates to be interviewed in such a manner as to unduly benefit Ms Essop and consequently in an improper manner involving herself with the finalisation of selection and appointment of members of the Board ostensibly to ensure the appointment of Ms Essop.
  • acted in an improper manner, alternatively failed to exercise her duties as Executive Mayor while displaying sound judgment by failing and/or refusing to ensure that the performance of the incumbent Commissioner for the Transport Development Authority of the City of Cape Town, Ms Melissa Whitehead, and more specifically allegations of poor performance be properly investigated and taken into account before the appointment process that lead to the reappointment of Ms Whitehead.
  • failed to perform her duties and/or responsibilities according to the Finance Management Act and the Municipal Systems Act in that she failed and/or refused to report and properly account to the Council of the City of Cape Town regarding irregularities and financial losses reported to her in respect of the contract the City entered into regarding the operation of the MyCity bus project.
  • failed to perform her duties and/or responsibilities according to standards set by the Federal Council of the Party and/or the Municipal Finance Management Act and the Municipal Systems Act in that she failed and/or refused to report and properly account to the Council of the City of Cape Town regarding irregularities with the Bid Evaluation process in respect of the so-called Foreshore Housing Project.
  • failed to perform her duties and/or responsibilities according to standards set by the Federal Council of the Party and/or the Municipal Finance Management Act and the Municipal Systems Act in that she failed and/or refused to take all reasonable remedial and corrective steps to ensure that the City of Cape Town performed its constitutional and statutory functions by refusing and/or failing to act in a reasonable and/or proper manner in respect of the financial losses incurred through the contract in respect of the Myciti bus project, as well as the     Volvo Chassis matter.
  • acted in an improper and/or abusive manner in providing leadership to the Caucus of the Party in the City of Cape Town by, through her words and actions, intimidating and belittling caucus members who did not agree with her.
  • refused to accept an official decision of the Party by informing the Caucus of the City of Cape Town, upon the election of Ald JP Smith as deputy leader of the Caucus, that she refused to work with him.

We have determined that the FLC conclude their investigations expeditiously so that this matter can be brought to a resolution as soon as reasonably possible, whilst at all times respecting procedural fairness and the dictates of natural justice.

The FLC will also look into the charges laid by the Mayor against some of the councillors.

We are however acutely mindful as stated throughout of the need to ensure stable and effective governance in the City of Cape Town, and that there is as little distraction as possible from the government serving all the people of Cape Town, whilst these formal processes are allowed to run their course.

We will thus recommend to the Caucus that they formally bring a resolution to Council that removes the Mayor from any role in managing and directing the City’s response to the prolonged drought during the period of these investigations. Instead, Deputy Mayor, Ian Neilsen, and the Mayoral Committee member for Water, Informal Settlements and Waste Services, Councillor Xanthea Limberg will assume overall political leadership and control of the City’s response plan. They will be asked, in particular, to actively engage with the Western Cape Provincial Government and the national government to ensure that they too play their mandated role in contributing to solutions to the crisis, both operationally and financially. They will also be requested to present, with far greater clarity, the City’s proactive measures to manage the effects of the drought, the need to reduce demand further and the prerequisite to source additional funding for revenue losses and to fund augmentation through the use of tariffs and related charges.

In addition, the Caucus will be requested to ensure the Council resolves that the operational response plan be lead and directed by the Executive Director of Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services, along with the relevant officials with the delegated authority to manage and determine water restriction levels and water management related matters.

Further, the Caucus of the City of Cape Town will be asked to review the delegations in the City, to restore the proper decision-making authority and functioning of the Mayoral committee, Council committees and sub-councils. That the organisational restructuring is reviewed is looked at so that changes so required to ensure governance that makes progress possible for all residents.

We simply have no time to waste, and are confident that with these measures in place that governance in the interim will be stabilised in the City of Cape Town, and that we have the best chance possible to avoid day zero.

South Africa is on the cusp of a new beginning

Over the past two days, the Federal Executive (FedEx) of the Democratic Alliance (DA) convened in Cape Town to attend to a number of pressing matters concerning the country and the Party. This statement serves to communicate the outcomes of this weekend’s meeting.
DA governments
This Thursday, 3 August 2017, marks the one year anniversary of the 2016 Local Government Elections, in which the people of South Africa voted to remove the ANC in major cities and municipalities across the country, and voted in DA-led coalition governments.
Over the past year, DA-led governments have been working tirelessly to bring real change to the lives of South Africans who put their trust us. And the fruits of this relentless hard work are now showing.
Yesterday I met with the mayors of DA-run metros of Cape Town, Johannesburg, Tshwane, and Nelson Mandela Bay, who each provided a thorough update of the state of their administrations, including progress on key job-creating and service delivery objectives, and the extent to which the manifesto of the Party is being implemented.
Despite the complex and difficult task of having the fix an inherited mess from the ANC, our governments are bring real change. Johannesburg has made a solid start on fighting crime and corruption in the city, Tshwane has done great work in attracting investment and delivering basic services, and Nelson Mandela Bay was recently ranked second most trusted metro in the country, up from second last just a year ago. Since being given a fresh mandate to govern in the 2016 elections, Cape Town has continued it pro-poor service delivery agenda, and remains committed to creating jobs and boosting regional economic growth.
Mayor Mashaba has committed himself to fixing the billing crisis in the City of Johannesburg. The Mayor will ensure that the MMC for Finance addresses this issue with the urgency it deserves, so that the residents of Johannesburg can feel confident in the accuracy of the bill they receive, and that the City is available and responsive to complaints.
In Cape Town, Mayor De Lille outlined her plan to mitigate the devastating situation in Imizamo Yethu after a fire caused widespread destruction of homes and property earlier this year. The City’s rebuilding plan is well underway after intensive community engagement. Mayor De Lille also outlined the City’s plan to mitigate the current water crisis in Cape Town, and supplement water supply in the city. We once again call on all residents to use water sparingly.
The DA recognises that there is still much more to be done to bring justice and redress, to open access to opportunities – especially for the poorest, and to promote freedom. The most important element in the lead up to the 2019 National Elections is governing well in every town and city where the DA has been elected to serve. Governing the municipalities where we have won is both a privilege and an incredible opportunity for our party to demonstrate what positive change can happen when voters choose differently, and elect a clean, well-run, and service delivery orientated government.
In this light, the instruction from the FedEx to all DA-led governments is clear: govern with honesty and humility, so that all can see the difference a DA government makes to people’s lives, especially the lives of the poor.
On Thursday 3 August, I will mark the one year anniversary of the 2016 Local Government Elections by addressing a press conference outlining the progress being made over the past year in DA-run metros to deliver services to all South Africans, to create jobs and attract investment, and ensure the people’s money is spent diligently. I will be joined by the mayors of Cape Town, Johannesburg, Tshwane, and Nelson Mandela Bay. The details of such press conference will be communicated in due course.
Motion of No Confidence
The Motion of No Confidence in President Jacob Zuma, which I tabled in March this year, is set to be debated and voted in 10 days’ time – on 8 August. This motion comes at a critical juncture in our country’s young democracy. The political tide in South Africa is beginning to turn; the ANC has never been weaker and we are on the cusp of change and renewal. Since this motion was tabled, South Africans from all walks of life, political parties, NGOs, religious bodies, and civil society at large have united behind the call to remove Jacob Zuma and his continued corrupt, irresponsible and reckless leadership.
The DA will mobilising en masse outside Parliament on the day of the Motion of No Confidence, calling on ANC MPs to do the right thing and vote to remove Zuma – whether by secret ballot or not. We plan to fill the streets of Cape Town, and we call on all South Africans to join in support of this motion to remove Zuma. This is not a political matter, it’s a South African matter. If you are a South African, this motion of no confidence affects you and your future.
We once again call on the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, to stop dithering on this matter and make a decision on the secret ballot as prescribed by the Constitutional Court. The DA’s stance on the motion is clear: Secret ballot or no secret ballot, the DA MPs will be voting with their conscience and voting to remove Jacob Zuma once and for all. The country expects ANC MPs to do the same.
In particular, the Deputy President, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, must put action to his words and vote to remove Zuma on 8 August. The Deputy President has been vocal in his condemnation of state capture, looting and grand corruption within the ANC and in government. However, for this to not just be a handy tool in his campaign for ANC presidency, Mr Ramaphosa must give effect to the will of the people and vote Zuma out, unlike on previous occasions when he showed his true colours, when he voted against a MONC.  He cannot talk about rooting out corruption, while protecting and endorsing Jacob Zuma in the upcoming vote of no confidence. In so doing he is showing that the ANC cannot be rescued from itself, it puts individual ambition and enrichment ahead of the needs of ordinary South Africans.
The DA’s petition to remove Zuma has now reached over 1 million signatures. As such I will this coming week hand deliver every signed petition to the Deputy President, calling on him to heed the will of the people and vote to remove the President. If Mr Ramaphosa is serious about becoming ANC President, he must follow the will of the people and vote Zuma out.
Removing Jacob Zuma is the first step in turn our country’s fortunes around and reigniting the dream of ’94 – a united, prosperous and non-racial society for all.
Moreover, FedEx resolved that if Jacob Zuma is removed as President through our Motion of No Confidence, we must go to the polls and hold an early general election. Parliament ought to be dissolved and the choice must to be put to the people as to who their next president and national government should be. Indeed, the sooner the electorate can elect a new government the better.
Bell Pottinger
FedEx considered the ongoing scandal involving the Guptas and London based PR Firm, Bell Pottinger. It is greatly encouraging that our call for the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) to launch a disciplinary inquiry into Bell Pottinger’s racially fuelled propaganda campaign was heeded, and the inquiry will start on 18 August 2017. We have insisted that this inquiry be open to the public. This will ensure that Bell Pottinger faces legal consequences for their actions, and that justice will be served for their promotion of division and racial hatred for cheap political gain in a still deeply divided society. The DA will have public and legal representatives present at the hearing.
Moreover, I have also personally written to a list of companies who procure the services of Bell Pottinger, urging them to terminate their relationship with the firm. Though legal action is effective, corporations respond to their bottom line faster than they do to judges.
Bell Pottinger must face consequences for their collusion with the Guptas using a hateful and divisive campaign to divide South African along the lines of race. This was coordinated campaign to further Gupta financial interests, and ensure the captured ANC continued to provide lucrative contracts that lined Gupta pockets.
South Africa is not a political playground where international corporations can disregard ethics to turn a profit. Bell Pottinger’s unethical compliance in these projects is unacceptable and the DA has taken steps to ensure they are held to account.
The economy
FedEx addressed the current ANC-created economic meltdown our country finds itself trapped in. We are now firmly in a technical recession after half a year of negative growth, which has already begun to affect most South Africans – especially the poor and jobless.
We resolved that certain immediate steps ought to be taken in order to reverse this situation, and get our economy back on track. These include stimulating micro enterprise, dealing with corruption and political instability, and stabilising SOEs across the board.
Moreover, we must safeguard the independence of our Reserve Bank. Its constitutional mandate to maintain price stability is crucial in the achievement of balanced and sustainable economic growth in South Africa. Any assault on this independence is an assault on our country’s future, and as such we will fight for the Reserve Bank’s institutional independence from government and from any political party.
Political party funding
FedEx considered the recent developments around a renewed call for a fully transparent approach to political party funding.
Last month, the DA supported the establishment of an ad hoc committee in parliament to consider the funding of political parties.
In practice, the disclosure of opposition donors may well pose a major threat to multiparty democracy. This is often not understood by well-meaning groups and individuals, who are unaware of the chilling effect full disclosure might have to democracy. This is because a strong opposition is vital to any flourishing democracy. However complete transparency of all political party funding means that companies and individuals that do not fund the governing party, and choose to fund opposition parties, are at risk of being bullied and victimised by government. Examples abound where such punitive actions have been taken by the ANC and the fear this creates in potential donors is real. This is further evidenced how opposition parties in the SADC region have been punished by similar such legislation implemented by governing parties.
In addition to this, we object to the ANCs submission for an increased allocation of government funding to political parties. The only motive behind this proposal is to save the ANC from bankruptcy, because its performance in government and its protection of corruption and patronage networks, has led to financial support for the party drying up. It must also be noted that through its investment arm Chancellor House, the ANC abuses state tenders to enrich itself.
At the heart of the issue is whether there is any possible corrupt activities as a result of party funding, and at present the legislation governing such corrupt activities provides for strong action to be taken. The fact that little or no action has been taken is more a reflection of the failings of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) than the legislation itself.
We will continue to ensure that vibrant multi-party democracy is defended and that the fig leaf covering the ANC’s real intention – to hobble opposition parties is exposed.
The fight for an alternative, post-ANC South Africa is in full swing. We are forging ahead in creating a shared future for all South Africans. Between now and 2019, we will use every opportunity in government, every single day, to win the trust of voters, and to show South Africans that there is another choice; a better choice, and that choice is the Democratic Alliance.

Agreement on disciplinary process timeline

Today, the DA’s Federal Legal Commission (FLC) met with Helen Zille and agreed to the timeline for the process going forward.
These details are as follows:

  • By 13 June 2017, all parties must sign confidentially agreements, to protect the integrity of the hearing;
  • By the 23 June 2017, all documents pertaining to the matter must be submitted to the FLC; and
  • On 30 June 2017, the pre-hearing meeting, confirming each party’s readiness and dealing with any preliminary points, will be held.

Helen Zille officially suspended

This morning, the Federal Executive (FedEx) of the Democratic Alliance (DA) decided by an overwhelming majority to officially suspend Ms Helen Zille from party related activities until such time as her disciplinary hearing is concluded. The suspension is effective immediately.
This past Saturday, DA Leader Mmusi Maimane proposed to the Federal Executive that Ms Zille be served with a notice of suspension, whereby she was afforded 72 hours to make representations as to why she should not be suspended. After consideration of Ms Zille’s representations, the FedEx has today taken an official decision to suspend her. The disciplinary hearing will commence this Friday, 9 June 2017.
The Federal Executive agreed that Ms Zille’s social media commentary and public utterances in connection with colonialism breaks down public trust, stunts South Africa’s reconciliation imperative, and undermines our political project. There is no question that Ms Zille’s original tweets and subsequent justifications have damaged our standing in the public mind. We live in a fragile democracy which means our public representatives must, at all times, be sensitive to the legitimate anger that people still feel about our past and its legacy.
As a former leader and as a member of the Federal Executive, Ms Zille has a special duty of care to protect the party’s interests and promote the party’s mission, which is to build a non-racial, inclusive democracy. Ms Zille’s statements are at variance with this.
Mr Maimane has pursued every avenue to resolve this matter. All of his previous good faith attempts have thus far been to no avail. Mr Maimane has asked Ms Zille to issue a full apology for her actions and has sought to find a solution to this matter. In every effort he has made, Ms Zille has refused to take the appropriate action necessary to resolve this unfortunate and damaging matter. Her ongoing communication on this issue has continued to cause damage to the party.
It must be made clear that Ms Zille continues in her government role as Premier of the Western Cape. There is a separation between party and state, and this suspension does not affect her government role. This matter deals with her standing within the DA.
Though the actions of Ms Zille have damaged the DA and brought our party into disrepute, there is no doubt that DA supporters will find strength in our unreserved dedication to the party’s integrity, and the institutions that support that integrity.
Below is the text of the resolution adopted by the Federal Executive today:
Noting the submissions and content of the communication received from Helen Zille,
Resolves that she be temporarily suspended from Party activities in terms of section 11.6.5 of the Federal Constitution, so that the disciplinary matter with which she has been charged can be judged on its merits, so that the Federal Legal Commission can be allowed to continue its business without fear or favour.

DA suspends Helen Zille pending outcome of disciplinary hearing

Note to Editors: the following statement was delivered today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at a press conference following a two day sitting of the party’s Federal Executive (FedEx) in Johannesburg. The Leader was joined by DA National Spokesperson, Phumzile Van Damme.
Yesterday and today, the DA Federal Executive (FedEx) met to discuss and deliberate on a number of important matters affecting South Africa.
There was recognition that our country and its people are in pain right now. And all South Africans share a deep level of worry and concern for the future of our country.
Our nation faces crisis after crisis. Unemployment has reached a 13 year high. Our education system is failing. And too many of our women and children live in fear for their lives.  It doesn’t have to be this way.
Together, we are witnessing the death of a liberation movement that many South Africans held dear.  It is now up to the DA, working together with those who share our core values – including other political parties, civil society, and trade unions – to realise a vision for South Africa that delivers a better tomorrow for all our people.
We will continue to focus all its efforts on unseating the Gupta-captured ANC in 2019 and installing a DA-led coalition government. Where we govern, both outright and together with our coalition partners, we are steadily making progress towards improving the lives of South Africans. We are determined to take this progress to national government which we will form in 2019 on the basis of the following shared values: constitutionalism, inclusive economic growth, non-racialism, a capable state and zero tolerance for corruption.
We can work together to rebuild this country the way we want it to be. Clean government, quality education, economic growth, job creation, safety and increased support for those most vulnerable in society.
This is our focus. And we will continue to deliver our message of hope and change to millions of South Africans throughout the country. Nothing should distract us from this goal.
In this respect, the Federal Executive considered the matter concerning Helen Zille that is currently before the Federal Legal Commission.
In order to ensure that our party focuses on building one nation with one future, I have been working to resolve this matter using all available means.
It has become quite evident that Helen Zille and I hold fundamentally different attitudes about the mission the Democratic Alliance needs to accomplish in 2019, and the goals and priorities that flow from this.
Ms Zille’s social media commentary and public utterances in connection with colonialism undermine our reconciliation project. There is no question that Ms Zille’s original tweets and subsequent justifications have damaged our standing in the public mind.
We live in a fragile democracy which means our public representatives must, at all times, be sensitive to the legitimate anger that people still feel about our past and its legacy.
As the Leader of the party, it is up to me to rebuild public trust. In this regard, I asked Ms Zille to tender an unreserved apology to both South Africa and the DA for the damage she has done. Unfortunately, she declined.
In this period, Ms Zille has continued to damage the party with various pieces of communication that seek to undermine what we are trying to achieve. Accordingly, Federal Executive has resolved Ms Zille be suspended from all party related activities until such time as her disciplinary hearing is concluded. A notice of suspension will be served on Ms Zille in this regard.
This has not been an easy decision. But, as the Leader, I must do what is right for the party and South Africa.
I have been inspired these past two days by our party’s resolve and commitment to effecting good delivery where are in government and to effecting change for the people of our great country.
I believe there is great hope for our nation. More and more people are seeing that that we need to forge a post-ANC future. And that future will be a DA-led coalition government founded on the values of freedom, fairness and opportunity.
We will redouble our efforts to take our offer of a united, non-racial and prosperous South Africa to every door throughout the country to build a movement for change that inspires hope about the great future our country can have.