Charged DA leader voted out

Time of article published Apr 18, 2010

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By Carien du Plessis

Disciplinary action against him may have cost former Gauteng DA leader and MPL John Moodey his position as he was unseated after two nail-biting rounds of voting by former DA MP Janet Semple at the party's provincial congress on Saturday.

Semple was elected in a tense run-off at the the one-day congress in the Krugersdorp Town Hall. It was a re-run of the party's congress in October, which was nullified after accusations that Moodey had bolstered his support with an SMS campaign of false information.

Moodey faced four charges, including bringing the party into disrepute and causing internal divisions. But on Friday it was announced that he had been found guilty only on one charge - breaching the code of conduct for the party's public representatives.

Shortly before voting began at the October congress, Moodey sent out SMSes telling candidates the party's Women's Network had decided to support him with a block vote.

His detractors said there was no such decision.

Chairman of the DA federal council, James Selfe, said yesterday the disciplinary committee recommended Moodey be admonished. Selfe told Moodey about it on Friday.

"The federal executive considered the disciplinary committee finding and the recommended penalty, and accepted both," he said.

This meant Moodey, who won the October election, was able to contest yesterday's fresh race.

In the first round he was ahead of Semple by six votes - ë against 229 - and the third candidate, DA MP Natasha Michael, lost with 98 votes.

The race was so close conference organisers anticipated a possible draw in the run-off, but Semple won by eight votes.

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