The DA has terminated the membership of three of its councillors from the Swellendam Municipality after they voted against a caucus decision.
The blue party’s highest decision-making body, FedEx approved the cessation on Thursday, an insider told Weekend Argus.
Now Abraham Pokwas, Bongani Sonqwenqwe and Gcobisa Mangcu-Qotyiwe are without jobs as councillors and a political home.
“On Thursday we decided to terminate their membership -- we can’t condone such behaviour.
“The decision they didn’t follow through was to hold back against the hiring of a director for corporate services until a legal opinion was sought. When the item was tabled in council, they voted against the caucus decision,“ the source said.
The DA’s communications director, Richard Newton confirmed the cessation of the trio’s memberships.
“They voted against a caucus decision and thus their membership ceased. FedEx did not approve their application for re-admission,” said Newton. Asked what decision was voted against, Newton didn’t respond.
While Pokwas and Sonqwenqwe couldn’t be reached, Mangcu-Qotyiwe told Weekend Argus she had not been informed of the decision yet.
“This is the first time I am hearing that my membership has been cessated ... I am therefore unable to provide you with any other comment,” said Mangcu-Qotyiwe.
Provincial chairperson, Jaco Londt refused to furnish Weekend Argus with a comment, saying the matter was in the hands of FedEx.
Swellendam mayor Francois du Rand told Weekend Argus he was awaiting the party to contact him on the matter.
“I am not aware ... they will probably contact me next week.
“I can’t comment until they contact me,” said Du Rand.
Swellendam municipality is no stranger to controversy. Du Rand is still embroiled in a race row after he allegedly provided superior services to white residents and businesses, and perpetuated inequality in the town.
A motion to remove Du Rand was then tabled.
The GOOD party alleged the motion was supported by all four DA councillors of colour in the municipality who wanted him removed.
However, it was withdrawn after the councillor who was set to propose the motion was apparently called by the DA’s Federal Council chairperson, Helen Zille on the morning before the meeting last week.
Zille rebutted the claims, saying she didn’t call anyone.
Du Rand, in turn, called for the parties to provide evidence to substantiate their claims and accusations.
The trio are the latest DA members whose membership was terminated in the Western Cape. This follows the termination of DA leader Masizole Mnqasela earlier this month over allegations he breached the party’s rules.
Mnqasela’s urgent application to challenge his termination was struck off the roll earlier this week.
Zille previously said as far as the party was concerned, Mnqasela was no longer a DA member.
“As such, he cannot hold any positions that he held as a result of being a DA member,” she said.
The party had also reported allegations of fraud against Mnqasela to the Hawks over abuse of travel and entertainment allowances.