Embattled Good national organiser and Western Cape member of the provincial legislature Shaun August has vowed to fight against his expulsion and removal from the legislature by the organisation.
August was expelled alongside another senior party member and Witzenberg Local Municipality deputy mayor Felicity Klazen after they were accused of having abused party funds and organised “sex parties” while they were tasked with overseeing a by-election campaign in Witzenberg last year.
The party indicated that it had spent a year engaged in investigative and disciplinary processes against August and Klazen, whose alleged misconduct had seen Good suffering electoral losses.
It added that the result had represented the party’s first electoral setback since its establishment in 2019.
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The party’s disciplinary process found that August had breached the party’s code of conduct (“lewd and shameful” behaviour), as well as the Political Party Funding Act regarding the use of campaign funds for the alleged sex parties.
August has disputed the allegations against him and has vowed to resist being let go from the party.
On Thursday, he approached the Cape Town High Court with an urgent application to interdict Good from removing him from its only seat in the provincial legislature, while also legally challenging his expulsion.
“This urgent application is aimed at ensuring that they don’t replace my seat while the review of the case against us is under way.” He said:
August has long been viewed as an ally of Good leader Patricia de Lille and is a former senior member of the Independent Democrats (ID).
He joined the DA after it merged with the ID and was its chief whip in Cape Town between 2014 and 2016. August then dumped the DA and joined Good when it was established in 2019, as its interim national organiser.
After securing two seats in the National Assembly, Good fielded August alongside De Lille as its MPs after the 2019 general election, before moving him to the Western Cape legislature.
Good secretary-general Brett Herron insisted that, while the party noted August’s decision to wage a legal battle against it, its constitution clearly stated that a disciplinary sanction could not be suspended pending an appeal.
This meant that both August and Klazen would have to vacate their positions while appealing against their expulsions.
“We’ve instructed our attorneys and counsel to prepare to oppose the application when it’s heard in court.” Herron said:
August pointed out that his legal challenge would also seek to block Good from removing Klazen from her deputy mayoral seat in Witzenberg: “It’s time to tell our side of the story.
We seek reinstatement of Felicity as a councillor and myself as a member of the Western Cape provincial legislature. We seek to have the disciplinary process reviewed in the high court, where evidence would be taken into consideration.”
While Good has been seen as a possible political force in the Western Cape, the recent expulsion of top leaders and defection of its councillors to the DA have undermined its projected growth.
Last month, three Good ward councillors in the George Municipality dumped the party and were announced as new DA members.
This was one of the municipalities where the party received sizeable support (including three wards and three proportional representation seats) after the 2021 municipal election, in which it secured 10.4% voter support, making it the third-biggest party in the council after the DA and the ANC.
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While the party accepted the defection of the ward councillors and was preparing itself for upcoming by-elections in the affected wards, it threatened to approach the courts to block ward 27 from holding a by-election, insisting that the resignation of councillor Richard Hector was not valid, as it had managed to dissuade him from moving to the DA.
The party indicated during the week that it had warned the Electoral Commission of SA and the George Municipality that it would take legal action against them if they held the by-election.
Hector said that, while he had tendered his resignation and had intended to defect to the DA, he had since overcome his objections to the Good party.
“One of the things that was frustrating was that there were no adequate services being given to the three wards that we control in this DA-led municipality and there had been disciplinary actions against me in council for standing up, without the support of my party, while the DA was saying we should join it.
However, I’ve resolved my issues with my party now,” he said.