The GOOD party has terminated the membership of Garden Route Councillor Donovan Saptoe for allegedly failing to account for R162 000 of party funds meant for by-elections in George.
Despite several promises to account for the funds, Saptoe, who was the campaign manager at the time, failed to do so, the party said.
The party’s national spokesperson Sam Shabane said several suppliers to the campaign, whose costs were allegedly claimed to have been paid for, were also not paid and the party had to pay them again.
“On September 11, the party instructed its attorneys to issue a letter of demand for the R162 000 to Saptoe and his wife Roslyn Saptoe who acted as the administrator for the campaign, failing which summons would be issued against them.
“Despite several promises to account for the R162,000, Saptoe and his wife have been unable or have failed, to do so. The party’s attorneys were instructed to issue summons against Saptoe and his wife and the matter will also be reported to the Hawks,” he said.
Saptoe said he was shocked to receive a letter of his termination three days after he had filed a complaint of misconduct against the party’s secretary-general, Brett Herron.
In the complaint, he cites several claims, including that Herron has used his position to “manipulate, victimise, threaten and in some instances terminate certain member’s memberships”.
“I was fired three days after I filed the complaint against the SG. The correct processes were not followed and I wasn’t given any opportunity to respond or any disciplinary hearing.
The councillors informed the party about the R162 000 invoices not accounted for.
“But no one informed us before it went to the party leadership. We eventually pointed out that there was a mistake made by the accountants in the invoices. The accountants are also Councillors and this fails the test of objectivity. We are questioning everything,” he said.
Saptoe said he will challenge the termination in court to protect his integrity.
Herron said Saptoe’s complaint against him aimed at thwarting the party’s actions.
“His so-called ‘complaint’ followed the party’s attorneys demanding repayment of the missing R162 000... and after I informed him on September 22, 2023, that unless he can account for the funding the party will proceed against him.
“His letter was clearly intended to pre-empt the party taking action against him. It is a fantasy and defamatory. He will get two summonses, one for the money he can’t account for and one for defamation,“ he said.