Defiant UDM leader to fight expulsion

2016-10-17 17:17
UDM. (File)

UDM. (File)

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Cape Town - Former UDM Limpopo provincial co-ordinator Conty Lebepe will not take his expulsion from the party lying down.

The vocal and defiant UDM leader was expelled by the party following a series of social media posts criticising some of the leaders of the party.

Lebepe, who contested for the position of national organiser and lost during the party's elective congress, was informed of his expulsion in a letter dated October 10.

Disciplinary action against him was discussed at a meeting of the national office management committee (NOMC), he was told, and the committee decided to take immediate action against him.

"The NOMC resolved that immediate action shall be taken in terms of paragraph 4.2 of the UDM code of ethics and conduct... because of the serious nature of your actions. Where conduct constitutes a contravention of this code, it shall be dealt with in terms of the dispute resolution and disciplinary measures or in any other manner the national management committee may deem fit in the circumstances," the letter read.

Lebepe had been vocal about the composition of party structures, calling for younger leaders to be integrated into the party.

He was also dead set against the appointment of Khanyisile Litchfield-Tshabalala as national organiser and later as deputy president of the party. Litchfield-Tshabalala has since left the UDM.

Organiser 'illiterate'

Lebepe also took to Facebook following the local government elections, questioning the party's leaders on the strategies behind coalitions, calling for introspection and political transformation to be prioritised in the party.

He was expelled from the party after he took to Facebook again, this time claiming that national organiser Bongani Phenyane, the man who beat him to the top position in the 2015 elective conference, was illiterate.

Lebepe told News24 on Monday that he was expelled for telling the truth.

"I'm already fighting my expulsion with my legal team. They are afraid to challenge me because I am telling the truth," he said.

He again reiterated his belief that Phenyane was "illiterate".

"I can't and will not let this go without a fight. There was no constitutional procedure prior to me being expelled. It was never followed at all," he said.

He was expelled for trying to voice out burning issues within the organisation, he said.

'Can of worms'

While the party has said he could appeal the decision, Lebepe said he would not until all legal avenues are explored.

"Why did they not mention the possibility of appeal on their political love letter to me and only once it's in media they say I can appeal?"

His expulsion letter was signed by deputy secretary Bongani Maqungwana, who told News24 on Monday that Lebepe had been given a chance to repent.

"He [Lebepe] was given an opportunity to explain why he should not be expelled from the party. Instead he did not show any remorse and continued with his posts. We then decided that a fit and proper sanction was to expel him, immediately," Maqungwana said.

If Lebepe felt he had been dealt with unfairly he knew the proper processes to follow in appealing, the deputy secretary told News24.

They were confident that they as leadership had done things the right way, he said.

But he would not be drawn on the charges faced by Lebepe.

"He knows what he has been convicted of. I don't want to dwell on the charges with the media. I don't want to open that can of worms," he said.

Read more on:    udm  |  politics

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