Cape Town - Outspoken Cape politician Badih Chaaban is hanging up his political gloves, vowing to “expose the skeletons in (his) rivals’ closets” as he exits politics for good.
Chaaban said he was handing over the reins to his daughter Lee, who had been extensively involved in her father’s National People’s Party since its inception in 2007. Chaaban said he would be resigning from the party and as councillor in the Witzenberg municipality.
“I’m stepping down as the president of the NPP and my pretty alter ego daughter Lee Chaaban will take over from me as the president of the NPP,” he said. Lee is a councillor in the Cape Winelands District municipality and has been in politics for eight years.
“We political dinosaurs must give way to the youth. We simply are not as smart as the youngsters are. We must admit it and make way for cleverer people to govern us.”
Chaaban said he was giving up politics after realising that “it is merely a smokescreen for educated crooks”.
Never one to miss a trick, he vowed to leave the political arena with a bang, promising to reveal the dark secrets and dodgy dealings involving his political foes.
“I’m going to spill the beans on corruption. I intend to lay charges against the DA, the ANC and other politicians which I have personal knowledge of. It is time the people of this province know exactly what these politicians – who have promised them the world – have been up to,” he said.
Chaaban hinted at releasing a dossier – the Chaaban Report – spanning his political career.
Chaaban wrote in his resignation letter to the Witzenberg municipal manager:
“I cannot work with thieves including yourself and your crook coalition clowns. Therefore I cannot morally and politically be in the same space as you and your low-life politicians, and by implication I may not remain as a councillor with you crooks. I duly submit my resignation from your gang of politicians. Kindly accept this notice as a resignation with immediate effect, like as of this minute, from you guys, as a councillor from the Witzenberg municipality. And now you can take your sweet time declaring my vacancy. I personally don’t give a f***.”
Sources close to Chaaban told the Cape Argus the Chaaban Report included allegations of political espionage, his tussles with Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, his alleged links to slain underworld kingpin Cyril Beeka and Yuri “the Russian” Ulianitski, and his reported relationship with controversial businessman Mark Lifman.
Repeatedly questioned about his dealings with alleged underworld figures, Chaaban has maintained he will never apologise for his association with them.
Chaaban rose to prominence during the controversial 2007 floor crossing debacle and the “spygate” saga in the City of Cape Town. He would go on to form the NPP later that year.
He and other politicians were accused of orchestrating defections from the DA through alleged illegal means as well as placing Zille under surveillance.
Most recently Chaaban severed all political ties with the ANC after an eight-year working arrangement in several municipalities in the Western Cape.
It came in the wake of the NPP voting alongside the DA in the Oudtshoorn municipality following the breakdown of the NPP’s alliance with the ANC and Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa (Icosa) in the Karoo town.
At the time, Chaaban said they had done the “right and legal” thing by “handing over the municipality to its rightful owners”, emphasising that there was no alliance between his party and the DA.
He said the NPP would remain “a force to be reckoned with” even without him at the helm.
Chaaban would be plying his energy into his NGO which focuses on tackling unemployment in the province, and he would also be working on a programme which uplifts unemployed youth by passing on his business skills.
“I’ve lived my life to the fullest; I’ve beaten cancer and Helen Zille. I have lots to be grateful for as all my remaining days are bonuses, as I was meant to have been dead already. But God intervened and wanted me to remain on earth to help others.”