The DA is investigating the role of Cape Town mayor Patricia De Lille in the leaking of confidential party information to the press.
The former Western Cape leader together with the DA chief whip in Cape Town Shaun August have been implicated in leaking documents to the Rapport newspaper, which revealed the contents of an investigation into internal procurement malpractice in the party.
The investigation in question was conducted against August and DA councillor Matthew Kempthorne, who were accused of taking R190 000 without approval to buy T-shirts ahead of the party’s 2016 municipal election campaign.
According to the newspaper report, August claimed there was a faction within the party that was out to get him and had documents to prove his claim. The documents were allegedly then delivered to Rapport journalists by former policy and strategy researcher in the Cape Town mayor’s office Josh Jordaan, who resigned on Monday following newspaper reports of his alleged involvement in the matter.
The article also alleges that De Lille was aware that the documents would be handed over to the publication.
According to DA policy the distribution of confidential party documents is an offence. Chairperson of the party’s Federal Executive James Selfe denied claims that letters of intention to suspend De Lille or August had been issued.
“There has been no suspension of any person, as the investigation is still unfolding,” Selfe said.
He added that the party would not be able to take any disciplinary action against Jordaan, who gave little reason for his sudden resignation.
“I don’t think the DA will [be able to able to take disciplinary action] and that is possibly part of why he resigned. He simply said he is resigning, he didn’t give much explanation”.
Anneke Scheepers, spokesperson for the DA, told Times Live that if the allegations against De Lille and August were true, both could face expulsion.
“This is not a lightweight situation … there could be a serious outcome. If there is due cause, people will be sanctioned,” Scheepers said.
“The investigation is basically to see what transpired and then what role the individuals had in this incident.”
De Lille resigned from her position as Western Cape DA leader in January, telling the Cape Argus that her focus was on local government and prioritising the City of Cape Town.
“Taking the City of Cape Town to the next level of government is an exciting prospect, but one that will take all of my time,” she was quoted as saying.
August is currently the candidate De Lille is backing to take over her former position as provincial DA leader.