Cape Town - Former speaker Masizole Mnqasela has finally broken his silence on his battles with the DA after filing his long-awaited court application challenging the DA’s termination of his membership in the Western Cape High Court on Friday afternoon.
The matter is set to be heard on Thursday.
On Sunday morning Mnqasela said his experience at the hands of the DA had been “a very painful, tedious, very draining experience”.
He said he hadn’t spoken before as the matter had – until he filed his court application on Friday – been the subject of an internal party disciplinary process.
He said the court case would be the opportunity for him to ventilate the entire saga, including his claims of the injustice he suffered and questions about the constitutionality of the DA’s process.
In his court papers Mnqasela wants to interdict the DA from nominating a person to fill the vacant speaker post, however the matter is set for Thursday morning, three days after today’s election to fill the post.
Speaking in his capacity as DA legislature caucus leader, Premier Alan Winde said the DA would be nominating a candidate for the position of speaker today, in line with the motion tabled by the ANC in the House last week.
Regarding Mnqasela’s court application, Winde said he would issue a full statement today.
While the DA will decide the post based on its majority in the House, main provincial opposition party the ANC will be nominating Department of Finance and Economic Opportunities spokesperson Nomi Nkondlo.
Speaking off the record, one MPL said the DA had held an informal meeting at a lunch on Thursday at which the names of possible candidates for speaker from among their number were mentioned.
While former Cape Town mayor Dan Plato, who returned to the House in January, appears to be the party’s frontrunner with key support from Interim deputy provincial leader JP Smith, deputy speaker Beverley Schäfer is said to have offered her services and is thought to have Winde’s support.
Others in the DA’s ranks who are thought to be contenders are Standing Committee on Human Settlements chairperson Matlhodi Maseko, Standing Committee on Health chairperson Wendy Kaizer-Philander and acting chief whip Deidré Baartman.
The election of a new speaker will be presided over this morning at 9am by Judge President of the Western Cape Division of the High Court, John Hlophe, who was designated to do so by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
It will be the only business of the day.