Aucamp still AEB leader

2002-07-01 10:43

Pretoria - Afrikaner Eenheidsbeweging leader Cassie Aucamp appears to have survived expected attempts to oust him at a federal council meeting of his party in Pretoria on Saturday.

"The council has not taken any decision," Aucamp said after the meeting that continued late into the afternoon.

Aucamp declined to elaborate, saying the meeting resolved that no detailed statements would be made to the media.

Initial expectations were that the federal council meeting might be decisive for the political future of Aucamp, sole MP of the AEB.

Aucamp wants the AEB to be part of a new political party, the National Action, that was established mainly for Afrikaners last weekend after two years of negotiations between different players.

He, however, faces resistance from some Conservative Party-aligned members, including Dr Willie Snyman, the AEB's Limpopo leader.

They are opposed to the inclusion of coloured people in the new party, including former Western Cape MEC Freda Adams.

The matter had been expected to come to a head at Saturday's meeting.

It was speculated that Aucamp could be removed from the leadership of the party and lose his seat in parliament, as he is among MPs who have been caught off-side by a United Democratic Movement court challenge against legislation to ease party defections.

The UDM was granted an interdict by the Cape High Court, which effectively blocked the defection laws pending a Constitutional Court ruling on the issue.

Had the window period for defection not been suspended, Aucamp's detractors in the AEB would not have been able to take action against him as he would have been protected in terms of the law.

Aucamp would have been free to defect to the new party had he so wished, and taken his seat along with him, denying the AEB any representation in parliament.

Snyman was after Saturday's meeting of the federal council also reluctant to talk.

"The council was not able to come to any decision. I have no comment on developments; speak to Cassie Aucamp," Snyman said.