DA eThekwini caucus set for showdown amid motion of no confidence in party’s leadership

Published Jun 11, 2023


Following the resignations of several members of the leadership caucus of the DA in eThekwini, the party was still to decide on a way forward with some members of the caucus yet to step aside from their roles despite a motion of no confidence against them.

The initial motion saw 37 of the DA’s 57 councillors in eThekwini vote to have the caucus leadership led by Thabani Mthethwa removed from their leadership roles following several complaints from councillors.

Councillors were unhappy with Mthethwa’s leadership which included pressuring the ANC and gaining relevance with supporters on the ground.

Another issue, according to a high-ranking source of the DA in eThekwini, was that the DA Exco leadership took unanimous decisions without including the rest of the caucus but expecting them to toe the line.

Among those who resigned were caucus chairperson Riona Gokul, Deputy Chief Whip Shamaine Sweshanker, DA Whip of Economic Development and Planning Committee Sakhile Mngadi, DA Whip of HI Melanie Brauteseth, DA Whip of Community Services Nicole Bollman, DA Deputy Whip of Community Services Committee Nomfundo Khubone, DA Whip of Ethics Committee, Hlengiwe Shozi (who is also a provincial deputy chairperson), and DA Whip of the Municipal Public Accounts Committee Shontel de Boer.

Despite their resignations from the party’s leadership caucus, they remained as councillors of the DA within the eThekwini Municipality.

The motion of no confidence affected the entire leadership of the caucus, but Mthethwa and others have not yet resigned.

Others who have joined Mthethwa in not tendering their resignations were Deputy Leader Mzamo Billy, DA Deputy Whip of Human Settlements and Infrastructure Services Committee Ernest Smith, DA Deputy Whip of Economic Development and Planning Committee Welekazi Sibiya, Deputy Caucus Chairperson who is now acting Chairperson Warren Burne, and DA Caucus Chief Whip Vincent Mkhize.

DA KZN Provincial Chairperson Dean Macpherson had previously indicated to the Sunday Tribune that they would await further guidance from the Federal Council with regards to the motion of no confidence.

However, the source said that Federal Chairperson Helen Zille had declined to intervene citing that she could not oversee the process because eThekwini was not a DA-run government.

“The motion of no confidence process must follow caucus rules. What is left now is for the acting chairperson of the caucus to call a meeting where the motion of no confidence is tabled and voting on it happens.

“Unfortunately there has been a back-and-forth with him and members of caucus about this. He obviously does not support the motion,” the source said, adding that Macpherson had already given an instruction that a meeting be called.

“There is a meeting taking place on Tuesday but there is no actual confirmation if the motion of no confidence will be tabled or voted for. There is also no knowledge about who the presiding officer for this process would be,” the source said.

The source said that the acting chairperson of the caucus Burne had indicated in an email that he felt forced to table a motion as he had not seen the motion, despite Macpherson indicating that the motion had met the threshold requirement to be tabled.

Another councillor who also spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed that a meeting would be held on Tuesday morning in Sherwood, however would not divulge whether the motion would be tabled citing that this was an internal matter that was still being discussed.