DA Gauteng member of the provincial legislature (MPL) Nkele Molapo has lost her appeal against a finding by her own party that she leaked confidential information and party strategies to the EFF.
As a result, the DA in Gauteng announced on Friday that it had terminated Molapo’s party membership.
In a media statement, DA Gauteng leader Mike Moriarty said: “Today, the DA membership of a confirmed leaker of confidential information and strategy has been terminated after a three-year-long legal process found her guilty and an appeal confirmed her guilt.”
Moriarty added that Molapo had been through a “fair process of the DA federal legal commission and, after she appealed, her guilt was confirmed by an appeal panel of the federal legal commission”.
“The sanction imposed on Molapo is the immediate termination of her party membership, against which there are no possible further internal appeals.”
Molapo’s dismissal from the DA comes just a week after she laid a complaint of sexual harassment against Gauteng DA interim leader Solly Msimanga.
She opened an internal case of sexual assault against Msimanga, which she later dropped in preference of opening a case at Villieria Police Station in Pretoria after the DA sent out a seemingly biased statement questioning the timing of her accusation.
Moriarty said it was sad that “the ruling of the appeal panel comes at a time when Molapo has publicly levelled suspiciously timed allegations against Msimanga”.
“Msimanga outrightly denies these allegations and sees them as an effort by Molapo to smear his name in preemption of today’s serious finding against her and the termination of her DA membership.
“It is sadly becoming an all-too-frequent practice for those found guilty in internal DA disciplinary processes to rapidly turn on the party to create counter-allegations to muddy the waters of their guilt. It is a practice we strongly denounce, and we continue to appeal to those found guilty to accept their outcomes without seeking to damage the party in retribution.”
When reached for comment regarding the termination of her membership, Molapo indicated that she and her legal counsel had both not been given official communication regarding the termination.
“I have noted the media statement announcing the termination of my party membership … I will be consulting with my counsel on the way forward. There won’t be any further media comments from me until such a time,” she said.
The termination of Molapo’s membership brings to a close a three-year process that started when allegations of her leaking confidential information emerged from the DA Tshwane government.
At the time, evidence of this leak was presented to Msimanga, who was then mayor of Tshwane, who lodged a case against Molapo with the DA federal legal commission.
According to Moriarty’s statement: “Today Msimanga is vindicated for doing what was right at the time in taking action against a DA colleague.”
The finding of the federal legal commission concluded that “on the one hand, the evidence led by witnesses for the party corroborated each other” and that “there were logical explanations and timelines given by the party, and these explanations and timelines could mostly be corroborated by one or more witnesses”.
With immediate effect, Molapo is no longer a DA member and thus she vacates her seat in the Gauteng provincial legislature too.