PW Botha Facebook post caused DA ‘massive damage’

The shared PW Botha-Facebook post by suspended senior DA member of Parliament Dianne Kohler Barnard had inflicted “massive damage” to the party.

Her actions will probably also cost the DA dearly at the polls, said James Selfe, chairperson of the party’s federal council (Fedex), today.

He was talking to Media24 about why the DA took the controversial decision to terminate Kohler Barnard’s membership.

The decision was made by Fedex after an almost month-long internal disciplinary process over the sharing of a Facebook post that called for the return of apartheid era leader PW Botha.

The Fedex had to vote on the issue because its 33 members could not come to an agreement. This has only happened five times in Selfe’s 16 years as chairperson.

Friday evening, when Fedex had to make a decision on Kohler Barnard’s future, was the sixth.

According to Selfe, the issue was debated for a long time, but there were still deep divisions over whether Kohler Barnard should stay or go.

Eventually, a decision was made by secret ballot.

Not everyone in the DA was happy with the Fedex’s decision to kick out Kohler Barnard.

Some believe she was targeted by DA colleagues who had wanted to get rid of her for a while. Others said the punishment simply did not justify the violation.

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