Legal opinion sourced by DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille has given the green light for the return of former MP Gwen Ngwenya as head of policy.
City Press reported last week that plans were afoot to bring Ngwenya back after her dramatic exit from the party just months before this year’s crucial May 8 polls.
Zille had last week moved to bring Ngwenya back, but was met with resistance at the level of the federal executive.
She tried again at last week’s federal council and it is alleged that a lengthy debate about Ngwenya’s return ensued, with many questions asked about whether Zille had the authority to unilaterally make that decision.
The matter was ultimately deferred to a sitting of the federal executive, where it’s understood that Zille presented the meeting with a legal opinion saying that she had not overstepped in her appointment of Ngwenya, marking Zille’s second major victory since her return.
A post-federal executive meeting statement confirmed that Ngwenya had been appointed.
“Considering the party’s policy conference scheduled for April 4 and 5, the federal executive considered the appointment of a head of policy. It is critical that a head of policy is appointed as soon as practically possible to get the ball rolling as it relates to the policy conference. The [appointee] will be tasked with implementing political decisions and direction as it pertains to policy,” the statement read.
Among those who argued against Ngwenya coming back, some were of the view that she had brought the party into disrepute on social media, specifically on Twitter.
Insiders allege that Zille responded that no one had come forward to lay a formal complaint against Ngwenya for her conduct.
Members of the DA federal council have told City Press that a decision was taken by some following the sitting to lay complaints against Ngwenya with the federal legal commission.