Suspended Limpopo DA leader Jacques Smalle faces five charges
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Pretoria - Suspended Limpopo DA leader Jacques Smalle, who is at the centre of a party virtual disciplinary hearing, is facing five charges, including tax fraud.
These have been detailed in the charge sheet from the DA Federal Legal Commission, which the Pretoria News has seen.
Smalle has been Limpopo DA leader for nine years, and was suspended in May this year.
He was supposed to face-off with DA MP and former party national spokesperson Solly Malatsi for the province’s top spot when the conference was suspended early this year.
In one of the charges, Smalle is said to have allegedly avoided paying tax on his travel allowance by arranging for the money to be paid to the bank account of his personal assistant, whose name is on the leaked charge sheet.
The charge states: “During or about the period April 1, 2018 to July 30, 2019, the charged member received funding originating from the DA provincial office of Limpopo which he claimed for the purposes of reimbursement of expenditure made in the performance of his duties.
“(The) funding was receipted into the account of one Damien Naidu, the charged member’s personal assistant, as the latter did not wish to receipt the funds into his personal account, ostensibly for tax purposes and matters related to his divorce proceedings.”
The charge sheet added that about R109 000 was paid into the account by the DA, and that Smalle failed to submit the required supporting documents to the party.
In the second charge, Smalle, also a DA MPL in Limpopo, is accused of using the legislature’s support fund for personal use.
“In January and February 2020, the charged member attended the Sun Met Horse Race in Cape Town. His flights to and from the event were paid for by the Legislature Support Fund, and in December 2020, the charged member altered the arrangements for accommodation for a by-election in Musina to include accommodation for Bianca Mocke at a venue called Leeuwdraai, which … were paid for out of the Legislature Support Fund.”
The third charge deals with Smalle having issued press statements or conducted interviews relating to his campaign that sought to portray himself as a victim of a smear campaign, despite the matter being before the Federal Legal Commission. The fourth one relates to him interfering in the staff disciplinary processes of Benny Jones, formerly a constituency officer, and MP Risham Maharaj.
Charge number five states: “The charged member interfered with the candidate selection process by providing candidates with the scoring matrix and questions for electoral college interviews, among others.”
Responding to questions by the Pretoria News, Smalle said: “When there are things that are sub judice, there are processes as to what to say to the media. I'm currently engaged with that and when I'm done I'll issue a statement and you’ll be able to put things into perspective.”
Insiders said based on his plea, the party might give him a momentary fine or ask him to resign from all leadership positions.
The party could also refer the matter to the SA Revenue Service or strip him of his membership.
The DA Federal Legal Commission is chaired by MPs Glynis Breytenbach and Weber Horn.
DA spokesperson Siviee Gwarube referred Pretoria News to DA Federal Council chairperson Helen Zille’s chief of staff, Nicholas Godsell, who did not respond to our calls or texts.
Gwarube said: “I know that the case is being dealt with by the Federal Legal Commission and is quite at an advanced stage.”