On a day of high drama, disillusioned former DA Gauteng leader John Moodey responded in blistering fashion to DA accusations about why he left the party – and implicated MP Mike Waters as the alleged culprit in a jobs-for-sex scandal.
This follows a media briefing held by DA interim leader John Steenhuisen to clear the party against Moodey’s accusations of racism and unfairness, directed particularly towards its black and coloured members.
Steenhuisen accused Moodey of “running away from facing very serious charges relating to an attempt to frame a political opponent in a sex-for-jobs scandal, which also allegedly involved attempting to bribe two young and vulnerable first-time councillors into giving false evidence”.
However Moodey has issued a statement defending himself.
“I deny initiating any contact with these two councillors or offering them any favours or promises of promotions if they cooperated by giving any false statements regarding and against Mike Waters. I do not know whether Mike Waters is guilty or not, but what is clear is that the matter needs to be thoroughly investigated,” he stated.
Moodey claimed that he was approached by one of the DA members who is also being charged, who told him that Waters had tried to solicit sex from two councillors in exchange for positions in the Ekhurhuleni Municipality.
Waters was the chairperson of the Ekurhuleni selection panel at the time – in 2016 – when these two councillors were DA representatives.
When Moodey tried to report the claims made by councillors Lucky Dinake and Jordan Craig Lotriet, he was told there was no case until the alleged victims were prepared to give written statements to this effect.
Moodey claimed another complaint was raised by a senior member of the Ekurhuleni caucus where the same councillors had approached him to express their concerns, as the selections processes were approaching for the upcoming local elections.
“They feared that Waters would be their selection panel chairperson once more,” Moodey said.
A few weeks into the lockdown period, Moodey then received a call from the same senior councillor informing him that Dinake was prepared to submit an affidavit in which he would confirm the sex-for-jobs allegations against Waters.
“Councillor Dinake was however concerned that he would be victimised if he did so and was seeking assurance from myself as the provincial leader that I would take steps to protect him should he be victimised. This request by Dinake to the senior councillor was confirmed in a WhatsApp message which was forwarded to me,” Moodey said.
He then called Dinake after being requested to do so by the senior councillor and assured him that he would be protected if this was indeed a genuine case.
Moodey then made it clear that he would not make any comments about the recordings which allegedly implicated him in wrongdoing and added his concerns that the Federal Legal Commission (FLC) had shared the evidence with members of the council before he was formally charged.
He believed that this was all part of a plot to discredit him.
“Astonishingly some members had been allowed access to this evidence and had encouraged others on social media to view this information. This clearly did have a negative impact upon my campaign,” he said.
“Clearly the party conducted a campaign against me within its structures before I received a charge sheet. I reiterate, I have nothing to hide. I have nothing to run away from.”
Steenhuisen earlier said that the party’s decision to release documents in connection with various cases that served before the FLC against Moodey was “in the interest of transparency and fairness”.
“He was also to face a charge that he was involved in offering these councillors promotions on the candidates’ list for the 2021 elections, if they co-operated into making false statements to smear the senior politicians,” he added.
Moodey announced his sudden departure from the party after 22 years on Wednesday, saying that the DA was no longer the organisation that shared the same values as when he joined back in 1998.
The resignation comes days before the DA holds its policy conference at the weekend.
In his emotional exit speech, he asserted that the party was prejudiced against the interests of black people and that it was only focused on pleasing the minority.
However Steenhuisen accused him of using the “race card” and “playing dirty politics” during his time at the DA.
“As a party of due process, the same rules apply to everyone,” said Steenhuisen.
Moodey was one of three party members set to battle it out for the party leader position, alongside Steenhuisen and KwaZulu-Natal MPL Mbali Ntuli.