DA suspends Kohler-Barnard

2010-02-17 13:41

Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance has suspended MP Dianne Kohler Barnard for five days for swearing in the National Assembly, the party said.

"After consultation with our Parliamentary leader, Athol Trollip MP, I have today written to the Speaker of the National Assembly, the Honourable Max Sisulu, to notify him that, in light of her recent conduct in the House, the DA has acted to suspend Dianne Kohler Barnard MP with immediate effect, for five days," DA Chief Whip Ian Davidson said on Wednesday.

"I have further requested that, on the first sitting day of Parliament, after her return to duty, Ms Kohler-Barnard address the House and apologise unconditionally for her words, something to which she has agreed." A copy of her apology had also been sent to the Speaker.

Kohler-Barnard would be suspended from February 17 to 23.


Kohler-Barnard was heard saying "fuck" in the National Assembly during a walkout by the DA and Cope in support of Cope MP Mluleki George.

George was ordered to leave after refusing to withdraw his statement that the government was leading the country into lawlessness.

In a statement released just minutes before the DA's, the ANC Chief Whip Mathole Motshekga called on the DA and Parliament to take action against Kohler-Barnard.

"Her suspension means her duties as a Member of Parliament are frozen for that period and, as such, that she vacate the Parliamentary precinct and suspend her related activities," said Davidson.

He said the DA viewed Kohler Barnard's conduct in a serious light.


"The DA believes in accountability and consequences, and that this action demonstrates our commitment to those principles. We challenge the ruling party to follow suit," he said.

Davidson accused the ANC of failing to act on statements by its MPs, among others, accusing the DA of being "treasonous", calling labour brokers "slave traders" and "human traffickers" and calling former DA leader Tony Leon a "lance corporal in a helicopter above the streets of Soweto, firing tear gas and bullets at the harmless students".

"None of these statements - libellous, racist, and defamatory - were met with any serious condemnation by the ruling party and certainly no decisive action (was taken)."