POLITICS
14/05/2018 13:42 SAST | Updated 14/05/2018 13:42 SAST

DA Members Who Joined Opposition Demonstrations Could Face Removal From Party

"If you mobilise members of other parties against your own party, then the party must act."

Mike Hutchings / Reuters

A number of DA members who joined opposition parties to support axed DA member Patricia de Lille outside the High Court in Cape Town now also face being removed from the party.

Western Cape DA leader Bonginkosi Madikizela told News24 on Monday that he received a number of complaints from party members and councillors in the city of Cape Town that they were being "mobilised" to protest with opposition parties.

Madikizela said that a few members, including one or two councillors, were spotted in media coverage and in person while they protested with opposition party members in support of De Lille.

As a result, they will be subjected to the party's rules on the matter, as the DA's constitution was "clear" about that type of behaviour, he said.

"We need to instil discipline in the party. We have platforms in the party to raise their concerns, and this is a [DA] constitutional issue," Madikizela said.

"If you're a member of the party, you subject yourself to the constitution of that party."

Due process

Clause 3.5.1.7 of the DA's constitution says a member will cease to be a member if it was determined that they acted against their own party in collaboration with other parties, he said.

"If you mobilise members of other parties against your own party, then the party must act."

Madikizela said the party would follow due process according to party rules, which included a right of reply and a determination by the party's federal legal commission.

However, they are not releasing the names just yet, as they need to clarify the members' statuses before following due process.

He said he had been alerted to the issue on Saturday by a number of members, and the issue has been referred to the relevant branches.

"Some of them were very visible, wearing DA T-shirts. We will need to verify if they are still members of the party [with their branches]."

In the event that a member was found innocent of colluding with an opposition party, but was simply there by choice to support De Lille, they may not receive the same censure.

However, the party still had a problem with that choice in principle too.

"That is another problem. You cannot go and support someone who is no longer a member of your party, against your own party," he said.

"We appealed to our councillors that we think it would be better, given the situation in the caucus, that councillors must not attend, both those who are for or against [the issue].

"All of our councillors heeded that call, except for one or two."

Judgment in the urgent court application between De Lille and the DA will be delivered on Tuesday around lunchtime.

Deputy mayor Ian Nielson has also deferred the appointment of a new mayoral committee until after judgment is delivered, having originally said over the weekend that he would appoint a new committee on Monday at 3.00pm, News24 has learnt.

News24