DA fires MP caught starting new party

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The DA's federal executive chairman James Selfe File photo: Etienne Creux

Johannesburg - The DA has expelled MP Velly Manzini after finding out that he was starting a new political party, the party's federal executive chairman James Selfe said on Thursday.

“He wanted to start a new political party called the Real Democratic Party,” said Selfe.

Manzini was caught out when he decided to use the same printers as the Democratic Alliance to print his party's membership cards.

“He was charged by a panel of the federal legal commission, [and] the federal legal commission found him guilty,” said Selfe.

“He was given a chance to appeal, but he withdrew the appeal.”

Selfe said the federal executive endorsed the decision of the commission and Manzini was expelled.

Manzini was DA chief whip in the Mpumalanga legislature from 2009 until October 2011.

In November 2011, he was appointed as a DA representative in the National Council of Provinces.

Manzini told a Sapa correspondent that the allegations against him were engineered.

“I have neither joined nor funded any politically party; these allegations started between June or July when I went to a printing outlet in White River to print receipt books on the model of the DA for the Manzini Burial Society, of which I am the chairperson,” he said.

“When I was there, some guys from my home area in Bushbuckridge came to print pamphlets for their political party, but they were running short of R150 from the money required, so they begged me to help them on condition that they would pay me back when we get to Bushbuckridge.

“I was only helping homeboys, as everyone would,” said Manzini.

He accused the DA of ousting him as the party wanted to replace him in the NCOP with a “white person”.

“A few weeks after, the printing outlet called me to collect my receipt and the pamphlets of the other organisation. I told them that I had nothing to do with that organisation and they were not supposed to call me for the pamphlets,” he said.

Manzini said Mpumalanga DA spokesman Willie Venter found him at the outlet and accused him of funding a new political party.

“They set me up to be fired from the DA so that a white person can be appointed in the NCOP,” he said. - Sapa

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