DA notifies Western Cape speaker of intention to suspend him amid fraud claims

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Masizole Mnqasela Photo: Edrea du Toit
Masizole Mnqasela Photo: Edrea du Toit
  • The DA intends on suspending Speaker of the Western Cape Legislature Masizole Mnqasela from party activities amid allegations of expenses fraud.
  • The party has given Mnqasela 24 hours to submit reasons why he should not be suspended.
  • At the moment, this development is a party issue and does not affect his position as speaker.

The DA in the Western Cape has informed the speaker of the provincial legislature, Masizole Mnqasela, that the party intends to suspend him from all party activities while it investigates claims of expenses fraud.

Mnqasela was handed a letter by the provincial executive committee on Tuesday, informing him of the party's intention to suspend him from all party activities – including his duties as constituency head in the Overstrand region – pending the finalisation of an investigation and disciplinary proceedings against him.

The letter reads:

The Provincial Executive's intention to suspend is based on the findings of an investigation report by the Federal Legal Commission that there is sufficient credibility in the allegations relating to irregularities pertaining to subsistence, travel and entertainment allowance claims made by you, which warrant suspension pending the institution or finalisation of an investigation and/or a disciplinary hearing to be instituted on charges of misconduct in terms of the Federal Constitution of the Party.

It states that the intention to "suspend is further to avoid and/or limit embarrassment or possible prejudice that your continued participation in party political activities may cause harm to the Party and that your participation may impact negatively on the image of the Party and bring the good name of the Party into disrepute".

READ MORE | Birthday party politics: Western Cape legislature speaker accused of violating School Act

Mnqasela's suspension comes a week after the DA's interim provincial leader, Tertuis Simmers, urged the Hawks to investigate Mnqasela for alleged fraud and corruption relating to travel and entertainment allowance claims.

"It is an internal party matter. I reserve comment," Simmers told News24.

Mnqasela referred queries to the party's chairperson of the provincial executive.

The party has also given Mnqasela 24 hours to provide a written representation to the chair of the provincial executive, detailing why he should not be suspended.

Jaco Londt, chairperson of the provincial executive committee (PEC), confirmed that the committee had written to Mnqasela, asking him to provide reasons why he shouldn't be suspended.

READ ALSO | 'I am not a thief, I am not a criminal' - Western Cape speaker Mnqasela responds to fraud allegations

"That time period to provide reasons has not yet lapsed. After we've received his feedback, the PEC will meet again. No further comment on the matter at this stage," he said.

"Mr Mnqasela has been requested to forward written representations to the Chairperson of the Provincial Executive, should he wish to do so, within 24 hours of receipt of the letter, providing reasons why he should not be suspended pending the finalisation of the investigation and/or institution of a disciplinary hearing," DA spokesperson Richard Newton said.

"This intention to suspend does not affect his duties as the Provincial Parliament Western Cape Speaker."

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