Clash looms between Zille and DA MP

2012-01-23 00:00

CAPE TOWN — A nasty fight looms between Helen Zille, DA-leader, and Masizole Mnqasela, a DA-MP.

Mnqasela must appear before the DA’s federal rights commission on six charges next week, but his supporters now threaten to lay charges against Zille.

He said that he would make a public statement on the charges against him and on what he deems the way forward during the week.

This looming fight comes after the racially-based snide comments he made about leader of the opposition, Lindiwe Mazibuko, in parliament during October last year.

His comments included that Mazibuko sounded like a white person and he implied that Mazibuko could not think for herself.

Mnqasela’s comments aimed to garner support for the eventually unsuccessful candidacy of Athol Trollip, who never repudiated the comments and who still supports Mnqasela.

After the leadership vote, Zille described Mnqasela’s racially-based comments in her on-line newsletter as “Verwoerdian” thinking.

This irked Mnqasela’s supporters, who now want to complain about it. Zille yesterday said if anyone is unhappy with her actions, they must lay their charges with the federal rights commission. She had no further comment.

Mnqasela said there was a public difference in opinions between him and Zille, but he was the only one being charged. He finds this unfair.

He said he knows Zille had to be charged before action could follow.

His problems are, however, not limited to his racial comments, which only forms the basis for first charge.

The second charge against him is that he described Zille as an African dictator. The third charge accuses him of rallying his constituency (the townships next to the N2 south near Cape Town) against a party member, Bonginkosi Madikizela, the Western Cape’s MEC for housing. The fourth charge is that he had alleged that Zille had told him he would not be voted back to parliament unless he supported Mazibuko.

The sting lies in the last two charges — that he said to Zille he would support Mazibuko if she [Zille] made him a Western Cape MEC, and that he attempted to bribe the director-general of Western Cape, Brent Gerber, to allocate state contracts to a company in which Mnqasela has a stake.

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