'DA councillor dismissed for whistleblowing'

Peter Roberts claims the party dismissed him because he spoke out against the illegal write-off of debt.

FILE: Peter Roberts claims the party dismissed him because he spoke out against the illegal write-off of a fellow DA councillor’s R650,000 debt without the municipality’s approval. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - A Democratic Alliance (DA) councillor in the Western Cape's Oudtshoorn Municipality has lost his seat on the council after blowing the whistle on alleged corruption.

Peter Roberts claims the party dismissed him because he spoke out against the illegal write-off of a fellow DA councillor's R650,000 debt without the municipality's approval.

The troubled municipality has been in limbo for a while which resulted in local government minister Pravin Gordhan having to intervene.

Roberts says his removal comes nearly two-years after what he's called a flawed disciplinary process.

"They found me guilty of something that is not even on the charge sheet according to my junior attorney. I checked the document, I see they found me guilty of damaging the party's reputation etcetera but that was never on the charge sheet, they added those charges later which is obviously illegal, they can't do that."

The DA however says he was dismissed because he defied party instructions, twice.

In a charge sheet tabled before the DA's federal legal commission the party says Roberts failed to follow instructions not to attend two council meetings last year .

The DA's Jaco Londt says even after appealing at a higher structure Roberts was still found guilty.

"Mr Roberts was dismissed by the DA after due process was followed. He contravened the federal constitution of the DA and was subsequently dismissed.

He is more than welcome to take any further legal action if he so wishes.

Roberts says had he not attended the meeting, it would have been his third strike.

"According to the Constitution, a caucus cannot tell a council that he can't attend a meeting, because it's prescribed by law. If you don't attend more than three you can be summarily removed as a councillor."