DA public spats in CT spark concerns

This follows a no confidence motion against the party’s deputy caucus leader in council JP Smith.

DA Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madikizela. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance’s (DA) Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madikizela has expressed concerns about the party’s public spats in the City of Cape Town.

This follows a no confidence motion against the party’s deputy caucus leader in council JP Smith.

Madikizela said the DA was not a political party of ladies and gentlemen. He said the party would face challenges from time to time but stressed the current public spats had him worried.

“Leaders will always flex their muscles. But where we have to intervene is when they do it at the detriment of the party. We are concerned. Sweeping this under the carpet would be ill-advised.”

In less than a month, the DA’s caucus in the City of Cape Town has dealt with two no-confidence motions.

On Monday, a motion against Smith was withdrawn at the last minute. Cape Town councillors Courtney van Wyk and Steven Vuba hammered away with the motion against the caucus deputy leader amid claims that he was dividing the DA along factional lines.

In a document, it's claimed that Smith led meetings during the 2019 election campaign, which plotted and planned the removal of metro chairperson Grant Twigg, therefore, actively driving a wedge within the caucus and party.

Twigg also survived a vote just over a week ago.

However, responding to Eyewitness News on Monday, Smith said he rejected the content of the motion and believed the opposite could readily be demonstrated.

This comes a week after former DA leader Helen Zille announced she hoped to return to the party to restore unity and stability.

The former DA leader resigned from politics but made a surprise announcement after submitting her name to become the party’s Federal Council chairperson. Zille’s announcement came after James Selfe stepped down.

During an interview with 702’s Bongani Bingwa on Monday, Zille said she was reluctant to return to politics.

“I was very keen on retiring as I’m living my best life, seeing my grandchildren and sleeping seven hours a night. I’ve been getting my media work back on track. I had great reservations, but after speaking to several people and looking at the turmoil the party’s been through, I thought I’d give it one last try through the position of Federal Council chair to bring unity and stability.”

Additional reporting by Lauren Isaacs and Shimoney Regter.