Cape Town - The DA was scrambling on Tuesday to react to allegations that a former DA councillor who was expelled from the party, was given a job because she was closely linked to Community Safety MEC Dan Plato.
The DA will now investigate whether the appointment to the Community Safety Department of the former DA councillor, who had been accused by the party in court papers of lying, was above board.
On Tuesday DA provincial chairman Anton Bredell said he was compiling a file on the matter to present to the party’s provincial executive which will decide next week whether to launch a formal investigation into the appointment of Jemayne Andrews.
Among the issues Bredell is looking at is whether Plato was involved in appointing her on contract as an administrative officer.
Andrews had previously worked with Plato. His office on Tuesday said he had no involvement with the appointment, which was a “departmental position”.
But ANC MPL Dorothea Gopie demanded that DA leader Helen Zille give answers in the legislature today about Plato’s relations “with his secretaries”. “The ANC demands of Zille to fire Plato after another scandal rocks his ministry,” Gopie said.
Zille said she understood that Andrews had applied for a position, gone through a process that had nothing to do with Plato, and been appointed because she fitted the criteria.
“Can someone please explain what the scandal is about? If no one can give me a valid reason that this is a scandal… all the rest of the questions fall away,” she said.
Zille said appointments within the department had nothing to do with any DA members.
Bredell, Zille, DA provincial leader Ivan Meyer and his deputy Theuns Botha discussed the matter On Tuesday.
This followed reports that some DA members were unhappy about the appointment. Bredell asked Plato to provide details of Andrews’ appointment.
“I would have had a problem if the appointment was in Plato’s ministry but it was in the department,” he said.
Bredell said no laws had been broken, but the matter of public perception had to be dealt with.
Andrews, appointed on a one-year contract in October, had worked with Plato when he was mayor.
A few years ago she was elected as a DA councillor in ward 22, which included the Belhar area. But according to the DA, which took her to court, she failed to pay the routine once-off “candidate” fee after her election and therefore her membership of the party had ceased.
Andrews had given various reasons as to why the payment had not reflected in the DA’s bank account, but the DA said in court papers that her “lies and half-truths” showed that she “lacks the integrity to which the DA aspires”.
On Tuesday Gideon Morris, a chief director in the Community Safety Department, said 19 people had applied for the job. Two positions were filled, one by Andrews, on the recommendation of an interview panel that had consisted of three department officials.
The third position was still vacant.