DA terminates Western Cape legislature Speaker’s membership over disparaging remarks

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Masizole Mnqasela's DA membership has been terminated.
Masizole Mnqasela's DA membership has been terminated.
Marvin Charles
  • The Western Cape legislature Speaker Masizole Mnqasela's DA membership has been terminated. 
  • The party said it had terminated Mnqasela's membership after disparaging comments he made during a press briefing on Sunday. 
  • News24 understands Mnqasela has been locked in talks with his lawyers following the party's announcement. 

The Western Cape legislature Speaker Masizole Mnqasela has been given one day to re-apply for DA membership.

The DA announced on Monday it had terminated Mnqasela's membership following disparaging comments he made about the party during a media briefing on Sunday. 

The party's federal chairperson Helen Zille said his remarks were "in violation of the terms of the cease-and-desist letter sent to the Speaker by the party's federal executive".

"Mnqasela has until 10:00 tomorrow to re-apply for membership to the DA," she added. 

The move comes after the DA filed a motion of no confidence against Mnqasela on Friday. 

During Sunday's briefing, Mnqasela made remarks about the party's caucus leader Alan Winde, who had asked him to resign after whistleblowers had handed over a mountain of evidence revealing Mnqasela's travel and entertainment claims as well as apparent lavish spending while on official government business. 

"There has been a jumping of the gun by individuals, and I'm not surprised Alan Winde told me in May already that I should go," he said. 

Mnqasela slammed the party's motion against him as a "witch hunt".

I believe that it was important to speak about this and what it means for me and for the legislature. I am a politician, so I'm not naive, and I have continued to dismiss these allegations as baseless and malicious. It was a political witch hunt.

Mnqasela added that he was not above the institution, but stressed processes must be followed. 

"People must not be excited to remove me as Speaker. I believe in something called process integrity. It protects you even though people don't like you. I don't expect people to like me," he said before issuing a stern warning to the party. 

"You don't touch me and expect ... no consequences for those actions. This has done so much damage to me as an individual, to my family and my character," he said. 

READ | Western Cape speaker slams looming motion of no confidence by DA as witch hunt

Mnqasela was suspended from all DA-related activities, pending an investigation into the allegations of fraud and excessive spending. 

News24 understands that Mnqasela will be consulting with his lawyers following the termination of his membership.

The provincial legislature's programming committee is expected to sit on Tuesday to deliberate when to schedule the motion of no confidence against him.  

Winde declined to comment on the matter.

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