Johannesburg - Five DA councillors in Gauteng are due to appear in the Germiston Magistrate’s Court on Monday for allegedly harassing one of their fellow female councillors who was removed from her party’s candidates list for seeking a court interdict against them.
On Sunday the DA confirmed the withdrawal of Thina Bambeni’s candidature, but said it was due to her unfounded allegations of sexual harassment against senior DA councillors in the Ekurhuleni metro council.
The withdrawal of Bambeni has apparently sparked outrage within DA circles as party insiders have revealed that their national leadership failed to take action against senior parliamentarian Dianne Kohler Barnard in March last year.
Kohler Barnard remains high on the DA national list, despite allegations of hate speech lodged at the Equality Court against her by the DA’s operations director, Louw Nel.
Nel lodged a complaint against Kohler Barnard, alleging that she made racist remarks during his party’s meeting on the N2 highway in KwaZulu-Natal last year, in which she alleged black youths were targeting white motorists. Nel then took the matter to the Equality Court after his party failed to act.
Nel is on suspension and was not available for comment on Sunday. Kohler Barnard was also not available for comment.
DA Gauteng leader John Moodey on Sunday confirmed that he wrote an email to the DA’s federal chairperson James Selfe, asking him to remove Bambeni from their list of candidates for the upcoming elections.
Detailing his reasons in the email, Moodey confirmed that he said: “Given her past history of accusing members of her caucus of sexual harassment her actions relating to serving protection orders on her caucus leadership at a council sitting, being escorted by police officers I therefore petition FCEC (the Federal candidates’ election committee) to red-flag this applicant”.
Justifying his decision, Moodey said he had the responsibility of ensuring that all candidates availing themselves as DA candidates were fit and proper persons to do so.
Moodey said Bambeni accused DA caucus leader Shadow Shabangu of sexual harassment in July last year, but failed to furnish the disciplinary committee “with proof”.
“She has also applied for an interdict against the entire DA leadership in Ekurhuleni - male and female,” said Moodey.
Five DA councillors - Phillip de Lange (DA Ekurhuleni leader), Shabangu, councillors Fortune Mahano, Jacqueline Riley and Shaun le Roux - are due in court on Monday and on Tuesday to challenge Bambeni’s interdict application against them.
Moodey said a number of magistrates had recused themselves from hearing the application.
De Lange on Sunday confirmed that Bambeni had applied for an interdict against him and Shabangu, as well as various other caucus members. De Lange said Bambeni lodged the court application in October.
“We are appearing at the Germiston Magistrate’s Court tomorrow (on Monday) and on Tuesday.
“It is a whole lot of us, including our female councillors. She lodged the applications in court and ran to a newspaper to make allegations against us,” he said.
Bambeni did not respond to messages asking for comment.
Meanwhile, Brett Herron, former DA mayoral candidate for the City of Cape Town, has filed a R2million lawsuit against Mmusi Maimane in the Western Cape High Court.
Herron, now Good party secretary-general, claims Maimane called him corrupt, racist and a criminal during a radio interview on SAfm in December.