DA interim leader John Steenhuisen has hit back at former DA Gauteng leader John Moodey, who resigned on Wednesday, saying he was avoiding disciplinary action after he was charged with misconduct “in his attempt to frame a senior politician in a sex-for-jobs scandal”.
When Moodey announced his resignation from the party after 22 years, he said that the DA was no longer the organisation that shared the same values as it had when he had joined back in 1998. The resignation comes days before the DA holds its policy conference at the weekend.
Moodey asserted that the party was prejudiced against the interests of black people and that it was only focused on pleasing the minority.
However, Steenhuisen insisted that “Mr Moodey, in resigning, is 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.
“Moodey 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 cooperated in making false statements to smear the senior politicians,” he said.
Steenhuisen said during a media briefing that the party’s decision to release documents in connection with various cases against Moodey before the party’s federal legal commission was “in the interest of transparency and fairness”.
The interim leader further accused Moodey of using the “race card and played dirty politics” during his time at the DA.
“As a party of due process, the same rules apply to everyone,” said Steenhuisen.
“The charges include misconduct for his ‘concoction’ of the jobs-for-sex scandal, which also relate to interviews he had with media houses in the run-up to the federal leader elections October in 2019.
“We did not want this to go public, but we cannot allow a false set of circumstances to prevail.
“The charges are serious, and proceedings were set to be heard internally in the near future, but it looks like Moodey has chosen to leave so he can avoid disciplinary charges,” he added.
He revealed that the investigation into Moodey’s conduct was finalised in July, as the DA was in possession of phone recordings that incriminated him in the case.
However, he further said that the other members involved in the matter were not to be named due to the ongoing investigation.
Prior to his resignation from the DA, Moodey had entered the race to contest the DA leadership at the party’s electoral congress in October, standing against Steenhuisen and fellow challenger KwaZulu-Natal MPL Mbali Ntuli.
His sudden resignation follows those of former DA leader Mmusi Maimane and former Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba in 2019.
Steenhuisen said that, despite Moodey’s threat to expose the party if they came after him, “the party has nothing to hide. John Moodey does, and his threats will not prevent us from setting the record straight. It is clear that John Moodey preferred to leave, choosing to avoid the formal disciplinary hearing as he is no longer a member of the DA. He also issued a blatant threat saying he would ‘expose the DA’ if the party reacted to his allegations,” he said.
“When they come after me, I will expose more things,” Moodey said. He also slammed the party for not acting against federal chairperson Helen Zille’s controversial and insensitive tweets on colonialism and apartheid laws. He said that if he stayed with the DA he would be complicit in perpetuating Zille’s flawed views and promoting “the new version” of apartheid.
“If I believe I am a better leader [than Steenhuisen], that tells you how I feel about the interim leader,” Moodey said on Wednesday.