File picture: Zanele Zulu/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town - Five former Democratic Alliance Cape Town city councillors on Sunday lashed out at the party's leadership, alleging "racist double standards" and demanding a public apology from DA leader Mmusi Maimane.

"We resigned as individuals for our own reasons - we do not make the claim of racism lightly. It is our experience," Shaun August, Suzette Little, Siya Mamkeli, Thulani Stemele, and Greg Barnardo said in a joint statement.

The five resigned on Thursday, October 25 as councillors and members of the DA.

"We did so individually and after each of us had taken a long considered personal decision about our future in the DA. Each of us did so for our own reasons. However, it soon became clear that there is significant commonality in what brought us to make our decisions. The party is racist, dishonest, and unethical. It is a total sham," they said.

They denied being implicated in a report by legal firm Bowmans following an investigation, as alleged by Maimane. "There are two Bowmans report[s]. Neither of them makes any findings against any one of us. In fact, neither of the reports even mention our names. Maimane and the DA have launched a dirty tricks campaign against us," they said.

The five former councillors said they had instructed an attorney to assist them to "take action against Maimane and the DA for his false and defamatory statements".

"Our attorney demanded that he retract the false and defamatory allegations against us in the same manner in which he made them: by issuing a media statement; and by publishing another Bokamoso [DA leader's] newsletter. In both cases, he is to apologise unequivocally for making false and defamatory allegations against us. Maimane has until [6 pm] on Monday 29 October 2018 to comply, failing which we intend to sue him and the DA," the statement said.

African News Agency (ANA)