5 DA councillors explain why they turned their backs on the party

In a surprise move, the five DA councillors turned their backs on the party, saying they can longer stand the discrimination and double standards.

The five DA members who resigned in October: (From L-R) Thulani Stemele, Suzette Little, Shaun August, Greg Bernado and Siyabulela Mamkeli. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Five City of Cape Town councillors have tendered their resignations, saying they’re fed-up with unfair treatment within the Democratic Alliance (DA).

In an unexpected turn DA chief whip Shaun August was the first to quit.

Council will on Thursday debate two forensic reports into Mayor Patricia de Lille’s alleged involvement in corruption and maladministration.

In a surprise move, the five DA councillors turned their backs on the party, saying they can longer stand the discrimination and double standards.

August, who was the first to go, explained that his tenure had been mired with accusations, federal legal commission appearances, and mudslinging.

August also claims the DA federal executive at one stage directly interfered in the management of the caucus which compromised governance.

“I can no longer be one of those members of the DA. I am not able and I will never be able to put on a DA blue T-shirt again.”

An emotional mayoral committee member for Area North, Suzette Little, accused the DA of being an exclusive club where others only participate when allowed to do so.

“I’ve set without a voice in this party to address any of my concerns.”

Other councillors who resigned include Mayco member Siyabulela Mamkeli and ward councillors Greg Bernardo and Thulani Stemele.

DA NOT SURPRISED BY RESIGNATIONS

The DA says it’s not surprised by the resignations of five of its Cape Town councillors.

Party officials say the DA’s city caucus is not affected by the councillor's resignations.

DA Cape metro region chairperson Grant Twigg said: “We are not shocked [and] the caucus is not in any way disturbed. I think the only thing we were quite concerned about was that when we take forward the fight against corruption, people tend to leave.”

Deputy caucus leader JP Smith says the DA had to act against alleged corruption in the city regardless of the repercussions for the party.

“We were confronted a couple of years ago with a situation where we became aware of what we perceived to be misconduct that led to a series of investigations.”

Smith says the councillors have resigned from both the party and council and their positions will be filled soon.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)