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Winde under fire for hosting DA meeting at Leeuwenhof

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde’s Leeuwenhof residence. Photo: File

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde’s Leeuwenhof residence. Photo: File

Published Jun 5, 2022

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Cape Town - Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has come under widespread criticism after he hosted a DA caucus meeting at his official state-residence.

The meeting occurred at Winde's Leeuwenhof mansion in Gardens, Cape Town last Thursday, DA communications director Richard Newton confirmed.

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The ANC and GOOD questioned Winde's decision, slamming it as “improper conduct”.

“It’s a state institution which is not part and partial of the legislature arm of the state,” said ANC MP Khalid Sayed.

“You can have a caucus meeting in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament building, for example, because that’s where you’re serving as a political party,” he said.

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“The Premier doesn’t represent the DA - the Premier represents all people of the Western Cape, so him hosting the caucus at his official residence takes away the semblance of statesmanship.

“It’s improper conduct. That’s exactly what it is,” Sayed said.

GOOD’s Brett Herron said Winde’s occupancy of Leeuwenhof was a privilege that should not be abused, and the mansion should not be contaminated with party political activities.

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“The use of the Premier’s residence for party meetings is a blurring of the line between party and state,” Herron said.

“The residence is paid for by all the people of South Africa, and the Premier resides there as a privilege arising from holding the highest public office in the Western Cape Government.

“We call on the Premier to exercise good judgement and to respect the fact that his access to the prestigious residence arises out of him being in government.”

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Winde told Weekend Argus no law barred him from using his state residence to host DA activities.

“Many meetings are held at Leeuwenhof,” Winde said.

“The caucus meeting was held there so that the members of the caucus could view the Slave Quarter Remembrance Gallery.”

The gallery, which was opened in February, commemorated Leeuwenhof’s history, which as an estate in the 18th century, had slave quarters.

This matter will be raised in the last sitting on Thursday before the house goes into its constituency period. The sittings will resume just before the end of July.

“The ANC will file a motion in the last sitting,” Sayed said, adding that they’re pursuing the matter using the parliamentary avenues at its disposal.

“We may report him to the registrar or file a substantive motion. You never know,” he said.

Weekend Argus.

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