Kohler Barnard could get the chop after disciplinary Friday

2015-10-05 17:59
Dianne Kohler Barnard

Dianne Kohler Barnard

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Controversial MP Dianne Kohler Barnard could be expelled from the Democratic Alliance if she is found guilty of bringing the party into disrepute during a hearing that gets under way on Friday.

The veteran politician’s fate lies in the hands of a panel of three attorneys who will consider a charge drawn up by DA MP Alan McLoughlin, as the disciplinary committee’s assistant.

“She can get legal representation, and we can’t say what the sanction will be, but the worst-case scenario could be termination of membership. She could also get community service or a fine,” said DA spokesperson Phumzile van Damme today.

In terms of the party’s constitution, Kohler Barnard could also be “admonished” or temporarily suspended for sharing a Facebook post that has been described by her own party as “indefensible and offensive”.

Kohler Barnard is the first MP to face a disciplinary in terms of a new social media policy that was finalised by the party in November last year, said federal legal commission chairperson Glynnis Breytenbach, who was responsible for setting up the panel.

After the hearing, the panel of three attorneys – who are not MPs – recommend a sanction, which then goes to the party’s federal executive for ratification or alteration.

In terms of the social media policy, office bearers “must carefully consider the content and potential risks thereof before the posting, sharing, sending or resending of any electronic communications”.

Communication “must not be of an insulting nature, derogatory or insensitive, nor cause unnecessary offence or harm the party’s brand and its electoral prospects.

Any office bearer who “damages the party or harms its interests, shall be guilty of misconduct”, says the policy.

Kohler Barnard, who joined the DA 11 years ago, caused a storm on social media after sharing a post on Facebook that hankers after the days of apartheid leader PW Botha.

She has apologised unreservedly and said that she had not read the post fully before sharing it, and deleted it the following day. The post was 84 words long.

She was demoted at the weekend during a shadow Cabinet reshuffle in which she lost her position as police shadow minister and is now relegated to deputy minister of public works.

Read more on:    dianne kohler barnard  |  pw botha  |  da

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