ANC welcomes reinstatement of DA councillor

2016-02-29 15:43

Durban – The ANC in the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality have welcomed a High Court order instructing the Democratic Alliance to reinstate one of its own members and councillors.

The Port Elizabeth High Court on Friday ordered the DA to reinstate Councillor Knight Mali after he was suspended for bringing the party into disrepute.

In a statement, ANC spokesperson Beza Ntshona on Sunday said the decision vindicates Mali "who has always maintained that he was being victimised for exposing systematic racism" in the DA.

"The ANC has said all along that racism is entrenched in the DA, especially in the Nelson Mandela Metro."

According to Ntshona, the council requested that MEC of Cooperative Governance, Fikile Xasa, fire DA councillor, Chris Roberts, for calling UDM councillor, Mongameli Bobani a baboon three weeks ago.

"We expect the DA to do the honourable thing and respect the court ruling.

"The filling of Mr Mali's seat in council must also be seen as an attempt to undermine our judiciary."

In a letter previously sent to the media, Mali said he had been vindicated by the courts. He said the high court order confirmed that the DA had embarked on a "malicious and blatant" plot to oust him due to his stance on racism.

"Indeed the court has agreed to restore my DA membership which is accompanied by my PR councillor seat of Nelson Mandela Bay Council," he said.

Mali had said that since he became a DA councillor he had been concerned about the party's stance on racism.

"I considered these issues to be in conflict with the principles and the ethos of our democratic constitution... It has been necessary on many occasions for me to raise these issues within the DA structures," he said.

Responding to the high court order, DA provincial disciplinary chairperson Kevin Mileham said the order was made on condition that Mali’s disciplinary hearing continue.

“The DA respects the decision of the court. The order states that his membership be reinstated. As far as I am aware he has not been reinstated as a councillor. A vacancy for his position was declared and duly filled. That matter will be one for the municipality to attend to.”

According to Mileham, Mali was removed as a member after he “aligned himself with the ANC”.

“Our constitution says this offence means your membership ceases. His response was inadequate.”

When asked about his feelings on the ANC welcoming the high court order, Mileham said: “I think the ANC should mind their own business.”

DA MP Kevin Mileham earlier told News24: "We wish to place on record that the disciplinary process involving Mali is not concluded and he is facing serious charges, among other things bringing the party into disrepute.”

When News24 asked Mileham to discuss the court order, he said the DA would not engage in a debate with Mali via the media. 

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