DA metro leader denies guilt in leak saga

2017-02-23 15:02
Patricia de Lille (Netwerk24, file)

Patricia de Lille (Netwerk24, file)

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Cape Town - Democratic Alliance metro chairperson in Cape Town Shaun August says allegations that he leaked fake party documents to a Sunday newspaper are not true.

August is one of five candidates running for interim provincial leader in the Western Cape, to be elected at the party's provincial congress in Worcester on Saturday.

The party's provincial office has been rocked this week by allegations that August and Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille were allegedly involved in the leak of doctored documents to the Rapport newspaper.

The documents relate to an admission of guilt by August and councillor Matthew Kempthorne to the irregular procurement of party T-shirts during the 2016 local elections.

READ: DA chief whip, councillor found guilty by party

August told News24 on Thursday that he was not guilty of the alleged leak, and is still in the running for the leadership race on Saturday.

"If you are guilty of something, then you need to worry. We are not worried or concerned about it and we are consulting with lawyers," he said.

He said he and Kempthorne had admitted guilt in the procurement of the T-shirts, but that the matter had been dealt with within the party.

He maintained he was not guilty of the reported leak, and would deal with the issue at the disciplinary hearings, he said.

De Lille's office on Tuesday said De Lille was being investigated for her role in the reported leak and denied that she had been handed a letter of expulsion by the DA regarding the issue.

Her office would not take queries from News24 earlier this week.

August and De Lille have a long-standing working relationship dating back to their time as members of the Independent Democrats. The party merged with the DA in 2010.

A researcher in De Lille's office, Josh Jordaan, resigned as a DA member and a member of its federal council on Monday following the reports, which alleged he had leaked the documents together with August.

DA federal chairperson James Selfe announced this week that he had referred August, De Lille and Jordan to the federal legal commission to be investigated over the matter. 

'It's bullshit'

The party in the province has also been shaken by allegations from current acting leader Bonginkosi Madikizela that the race card is being used in the run-up to the elective conference on Saturday.

Madikizela told News24 earlier this week that there are people in the province who are using "outdated" race-based ideas to campaign and it is "eroding" the party.

August, however, dismissed Madikizela's allegations that certain people believe a coloured person should lead the DA in the Western Cape.

"It's bullshit. Nobody is talking about race," August said.

"The race is to win on Saturday. That's the only race we are in.

"Nobody has spoken about colour. Nobody else is bringing it up in the media.

"He is the one bringing it up in the media, and I think that is wrong."

Non-racial leadership

Madikizela told News24 earlier this week that the race of the party's leader should not matter, and that the use of the race card was "eroding" the party's values.

"It is true that historically the coloured population is the majority in the province, but that's not the point," he told News24.

"Why must this issue be raised now when it's a black man who wants to lead this party in the province?

"For the last 10 years, before Patricia de Lille, the province was led by a white man: Theuns Botha.

"That clearly indicates that these are people who are opportunist, who are trying really to play the race card when it is not necessary."

Madikizela said the party's leaders across the country come from all races, despite the majority of people in those provinces being black.

He said most people in the party support the idea of non-racial leadership.

The elective conference will begin at 14:30 on Saturday and will be held at the Susan Hanekom Hall in Worcester.

Read more on:    da  |  cape town  |  politics

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