John Moodey exit: DA hits back, says he was running away from serious internal party charges

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DA interim leader John Steenhuisen, flanked by chief whip Natasha Mazzone and national chairperson Ivan Meyer.
DA interim leader John Steenhuisen, flanked by chief whip Natasha Mazzone and national chairperson Ivan Meyer.
Jan Gerber
  • The DA has made public the internal charges faced by former Gauteng leader John Moodey.
  • The party claims it has evidence that Moodey tried to frame a political opponent in an alleged jobs for sex scandal.
  • Interim leader John Steenhuisen accused Moodey of using rumours and the race card to deflect from serious accusations.

The DA claims its former Gauteng leader John Moodey, who recently resigned, was facing internal disciplinary charges for allegedly attempting to use "mistruths and rumours" to frame a colleague in a sex-for-jobs scandal.

In a press conference on Thursday, interim DA leader John Steenhuisen said the party couldn't leave unchallenged the claims made by Moodey during the announcement of his resignation.

Moodey said he was leaving the party because it no longer felt like a home for him.

Steenhuisen said:

It is very clear he sought to deflect attention from himself by defaming erstwhile colleagues, playing the race card and seeking to inflict as much damage on the party on his way to the door by spreading these mistruths and rumours.

He was speaking at a virtual media briefing, alongside Werner Horn, who is a member of the DA's federal legal commission (FLC), and outgoing Gauteng chairperson Mike Moriarty.

Moodey made mention of the claims during the announcement of his resignation, but had said they were trumped-up charges, following on the back of a series of other charges.

READ | "I cannot even sleep in a DA t-shirt" - John Moodey on resigning from the DA

Steenhuisen, who said the DA had initially wished Moodey well because it did not want to play "gutter politics", gave an account of the charges, in which he accused the former provincial leader of also trying to bribe two young councillors.

It is said Moodey had promised the two first-time councillors a promotion on the candidates list for the 2021 local government elections.

Horn, who is handling the matter in the DA's FLC, gave further insight on the matter.

Whistleblowers

He said it was handed over to the structure by federal council chairperson Helen Zille after she received complaints from two whistleblowers in Ekurhuleni.

He said while investigations were stalled by the lockdown, the matter was finalised in July, a report handed to the Federal Council, which decided Moodey and others should face charges.

"It's not a matter where the case turns on allegations and counter-allegations, we have tape recordings and telephone conversations," claimed Horn.

Claims that whistleblowers had reached out to Moodey were false, Horn added, as the FLC understood he had contacted them first.

Horn said:

The formal disciplinary hearing was not based on frivolous allegations, but in fact serious, strong initial evidence, and information pointing to the misconduct of which Mr Moodey, if he had stayed, would have tried to rebut.

Steenhuisen also rubbished claims of a purge, a decision to no longer grow the party and racial tensions playing out in the DA.

"It's very easy to play the race card on your way out. I do find it strange that, up until yesterday, Mr Moodey wanted to lead this organisation," said Steenhuisen, who also questioned why the former federal leader hopeful had wanted to be at the helm of it, if it was so problematic.

He said the DA's policies, values, principles have not changed at all over the past five to six years, along with its desire to be the party of national governance.

"I never want to be a leader of an organisation that was competing for second place all the time, it defeats the purpose of politics," he said.

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