The Good Party appears to be in bad shape after a second member of the party’s top brass resigned on Thursday, bemoaning that she could no longer continue with the “window dressing”.
The party of Minister of Public Works Patricia de Lille has been hit by a second high-profile resignation in three months, as interim national treasurer Masego Kwenamore follows former national chairperson Nthabiseng Lephoko out of the door.
Kwenamore told City Press that her days of being “a minion” for the party leaders were over because even though she was expected to handle the party’s finances, she had no clue how these were run.
“It is not a democratic party. It is like the company of someone who takes decision and we must just follow,” Kwenamore said, adding that she was tired of covering up for things she did not even personally have knowledge of.
However, the Good Party’s secretary-general Brett Herron hinted in a response that Kwenamore’s exit may be informed more by the party’s inability “to offer more people employment in our offices and that we will not entertain deployment into government departments”.
Herron said the party was grateful for her services as "she made her contribution to our election campaign and to establishing sound banking and financing processes and rules as we set up the movement”.
Kwenamore said her background in financial management dated back to 2004, working in municipalities as an auditor, consultant and chief financial officer, and also serving as an audit committee member.
In May Lephoko resigned from the party in the same week that party leaders were preparing to be sworn in as members of the National Assembly.
Lephoko then told SABCNewsOnline that she had been “overlooked” for the party’s second parliamentary seat and De Lille chose national organiser and former City of Cape Town DA chief whip Shaun August instead.
De Lille’s party, formed after she parted ways with the DA following a months-long battle with the DA’s leadership, managed to secure more than 70 000 votes during the May 8 elections, which equated to two seats in the National Assembly.
In addition, the party secured one seat in the Western Cape legislature.
Kwenamore, a member of the Good Party since its formation in December 2018, had been acting as national treasurer for almost eight months since January this year.
She said that as a trained auditor and associate general accountant, she was expecting to manage the funds of the party, budget, income and expenditure, and also advise the party on finances.
“I don’t know anything about the party Income and expenditure from different provinces. I’m kept in the dark when I request information,” she said.
She said that as far back as February she contacted a guy who was appointed to do the party’s book and at that time, he was busy with opening a bank account for the party.
“But every time when I asked him questions, he will tell me that he spoke to the leader (De Lille) and secretary general (Brett Herron). I felt undermined but I let it pass because we were busy on the ground with campaigns.”
Kwenamore said that she subsequently tried to address the matter with Lephoko before her departure. She said both Herron and national organiser Shaun August were also aware even before the elections that she was not happy.
“After the elections, some members in other provinces wanted me to investigate their fundraising and party agent payments. It was so embarrassing that I had to report to the secretary-general and he told me that once the financial report is ready, I will then report.”
During a later meeting when some executives wanted her to present the party’s spending, she said, “the secretary-general then told them that I don’t have a report and the leader questioned how the spending report is going to assist” .
It was then that Kwenamore came to a conclusion that “the matter will never be resolved” .
She said: “I was being used to front as a treasurer-general for whatever reasons but I’m really not a finance decisionmaker.”
Kwenamore said she intended to continue with her non-governmental organisation, which teaches ordinary people how best to interact with municipalities.
“We will be helping municipalities communicate what they do to society better. Through this intervention the community can control their resources, hold municipality accountable, and prevent unauthorised or wastage of resources, which can assist in service delivery and alleviate strikes or looting”.
This article was updated on August 16 to reflect the comments of Herron.