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Johannesburg - Some DA members in Gauteng have appealed against the party’s selection process for candidates to be sent to Parliament and the provincial legislature after next year’s elections.
The Sunday Independent has seen some of the appeals by members unhappy that they were not selected for deployment to the National Assembly and the Gauteng legislature.
The party’s deployment process in Gauteng also recently ran into trouble after its deputy chairman, Toni Molefe, was booted out for allegedly making comments that did not sit well with some of the candidates.
Molefe is being investigated for allegedly intimidating those who did not support his group during the DA congress last year.
The process has also laid bare the vicious succession battle in the DA to replace leader Helen Zille.
It was at the height of the Gauteng deployment list process that it came to light that the party’s spokesman and premier candidate, Mmusi Maimane, had been advised to register his name to go to Parliament as well – a move that has angered supporters of DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko, who believe the party’s spokesman is eyeing her job.
Some councillors in the party’s Joburg caucus have aired their dissatisfaction with the province’s deployment process.
Joburg councillor Nico de Jager is one of the party’s senior leaders who has questioned the process.
It is understood that De Jager, the party’s mayoral committee member for transport, said he could not understand why he wasn’t selected, when he was one of the best councillors in Joburg.
The DA’s electoral college first interviewed its candidates and ranked them according to their scores. However, the college also had to vote for those it wanted to go to Parliament and the legislature, irrespective of their interview scores.
Some members are not happy about the process, and it is understood that other Joburg councillors who have appealed include Solani Gudluza.
Gudluza, Molefe and De Jager are said to be in a faction that is not on good terms with the DA electoral college chairman in Gauteng, Dennis Hunt, and the party’s provincial leadership.
Hunt confirmed that the party had received several appeals, including one from De Jager. “I can confirm that Nic de Jager appealed. I haven’t seen others. I really can’t tell you how many (there) are. It is (an) internal matter,” he said.
Hunt said a panel of nine people would look at the appeals. De Jager denied that he had appealed.
The DA Youth leader in Tshwane, Billy Tseke, said a member of the selection panel had interrupted his presentation.
“My appeal is based on the fact that I was not given a proper equal opportunity, which is the key of our principles of the party,” he said.
“My presentation was interrupted by one of the electoral college members who was sitting in the front row claiming that other members at the back cannot hear what was saying. I clearly see that interruption as intimidative and disturbing to my presentation.
“I hope that I will be given another opportunity to present myself again to the college.”