Dianne Kohler Barnard

Durban - More than two months have passed since the February deadline for DA MP Dianne Kohler-Barnard to fulfil the sanctions meted out by her party, however, sources say she hasn’t complied.

Kohler-Barnard was fired after she shared a Facebook post calling for the return of apartheid-era president PW Botha. She pleaded guilty to all charges including that of bringing the party into disrepute and was subsequently expelled from the party.

She appealed against her expulsion, represented by seasoned advocate Barry Roux. She was then reinstated as a member of Parliament but was stripped of all other positions including that of the party’s police spokeswoman.

The executive federal committee, chaired by James Selfe ordered Kohler-Barnard to pay a fine of R20 000 to an NGO that did work in the field of reconciliation and restitution among persons disadvantaged by apartheid, to be paid before the end of February.

Sources inside the party claim she hasn’t paid the fine - a claim denied by Selfe. This angered some members of the federal council at a meeting in February in Cape Town.

“The answer we got was she paid the money to a prissy NGO. But they couldn’t tell us the name of the NGO. This left us with one conclusion, that she didn’t pay the money. This was just a cover up,” said a source who didn’t want to be named.

But Selfe dismissed these claims, saying that she had paid the money but the NGO, which he wouldn’t disclose, had rejected it. He said she offered the money to another NGO, which he also would not name. It took the money, he said.

Kohler-Barnard was also ordered to resign from all elected positions in the party, except her position in the national assembly, and that she does not stand for (re-)election to such position(s) for the duration of the suspension.

She was required to attend, as a caucus member, a presentation on the safe and responsible use of social media to be presented to the DA caucus. She had not attended the presentation, legal federal committee chairwoman, Glynnis Breytenbach said.

It is claimed Kohler-Barnard sat on the panel that interviewed candidates for local government elections on August 3.

When approached, she declined to comment but said she had not contravened any of the sanctions.

DA leader in KZN, Zwakele Mncwango, declined to comment and directed all questions to Selfe.

Sunday Tribune