DA members want harsher action against T-shirt duo

2017-02-21 17:04
(Jenna Etheridge, News24)

(Jenna Etheridge, News24)

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Cape Town – DA members of a Cape Town ward have demanded that metro chairperson Shaun August and councillor Matthew Kempthorne be removed from their positions.

“I would hope that both of them would automatically be relieved of holding any official positions in DA structures until such time as they have been rehabilitated,” Ward 70 chairperson Wesley Johanneson wrote in an email to the party on Sunday. 

“The party will be a sitting duck for a devastating onslaught from opposition forces if we were to let this incident slide as just another 'hiccup'.”

Members in Ward 70 want the two to face harsher consequences after the party’s disciplinary committee found them guilty of violating procurement rules when they bought T-shirts for the DA’s 2016 election campaign.

August and Kempthorne received suspended membership terminations.

Ward member Célinde Burger threatened to quit the party.

“If these senior incumbents are an indication of the quality of 'leadership' that I should support, I will gladly walk away and lead myself,” she wrote in an email to the party’s leadership on Monday.

“Mr August is making a joke if he thinks he can play a leading role [in ousting] the ANC in 2019 from the Union Buildings! For the DA to get there, their own members must be purified from rot.” 

Burger was responding to a letter which August sent to the City of Cape Town DA caucus, dated February 14. In it he explains his sentencing by the party’s disciplinary committee. 

He admits to making irregular purchases, but says it was done to ensure the party’s victory in Cape Town in the August 3 local government elections. 

“In the interests of achieving our goals, the regional executive took a decision to procure T-shirts outside of the normal supply processes,” August wrote. 

August 'not resigning' 

Ward representative Andrea Crous told News24 the entire ward agreed with Johanneson’s stance.

Ward 70 includes the neighbourhoods of Welgemoed, Protea Valley, and Tygervalley.

August said he had no intention to resign. 

“There is no need for me to resign as I've done nothing wrong,” August said. 

Kempthorne could not be reached for comment. 

DA federal executive chairperson James Selfe said ex-provincial leader Patricia de Lille was being investigated for her role in the leaking of a confidential document relating to the August-Kempthorne matter to Rapport.

The document is a doctored version of an admission of guilt agreement in which August and Kempthorne admit to making misrepresentations in order to buy T-shirts for the DA’s campaign, according to Rapport.    

The DA’s federal legal committee approved the agreement and sentence that each forfeit a month’s salary in January.

On January 30, De Lille quit as the DA's Western Cape leader, but denied her decision had anything to do with August and Kempthorne's admission of guilt. She wanted to focus on her duties as Cape Town mayor, she said.

The TygerBurger reported on Tuesday that high-placed party officials said De Lille had received letters notifying her that she needed to defend herself against expulsion from the party. De Lille and Selfe both denied that she was issued with such a letter.


Read more on:    da  |  patricia de lille  |  shaun august  |  cape town  |  politics 2017

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