DA official faces charge after anti-Zille Facebook like

2017-05-14 08:56
(Alexander Joe, AFP)

(Alexander Joe, AFP)

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Former DA youth leader Mbali Ntuli was charged on Friday for breaching the party’s social media policy despite legal advice that she should not be charged.

Ntuli, a member of the KwaZulu-Natal legislature, will have to answer to claims that she liked a Facebook comment that called embattled Western Cape Premier Helen Zille a racist. The comment Ntuli liked was made on a December 23 repost of an article titled, This Thread Covers Everything We Want To Say About Zille’s Tweets. It was a summary of tweets by Zille over the last few months of 2016.

The repost was allegedly followed up with a post in which Ntuli lamented that Zille had said some “outrageous” things on social media with no consequences and added that, “as a party, we should be clear about why some leaders can say whatever they want with impunity and others cannot. A little consistency would be nice”.

A debate that evolved into a conversation about race ensued and saw a user commenting, in part, that “Helen Zille is racist”. Acting Western Cape DA leader Bonginkosi Madikizela claimed that Ntuli liked the particular comment and laid a charge against her.

The party’s legal commission probed the matter and said: “Taking all of the above into consideration, it is recommended that no further action be taken against Ntuli. The documentary evidence presented would not be sufficient to ensure a conviction of misconduct against her... It is also submitted that a finding of not guilty against her would cause more harm than good to the party at this time.”

Despite this recommendation, the DA’s federal council decided to proceed with the charges against Ntuli for breaching the party’s constitution and social media policy.

The DA’s Alan McLoughlin, who compiled the report, confirmed that the federal executive (Fedex) had opted to pursue charges despite the recommendations.

DA’s spokesperson Phumzile van Damme said that the recommendation had been made to Fedex, who referred it back to the federal legal commission and that this was not uncommon.

Ntuli said she had been made aware of the charges on Friday and could not comment further as she was yet to meet with her lawyers.

The party is currently facing mounting pressure to act against Zille for tweeting that not all aspects of colonialism were bad and following the tweets up with a series of opinion pieces defending her position.

Madikizela condemned Zille tweets, but has not supported calls for the premier to resign.

Read more on:    da  |  helen zille  |  politics  |  social media

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