Former Democratic Alliance City of Cape Town chief whip Shaun August says he and four other former DA councillors have not received an apology from party leader Mmusi Maimane for saying they were implicated in a report that found maladministration had occurred at the City.
August and the four councillors resigned last week in support of Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille.
August, Suzette Little, Siya Mamkeli, Thulani Stemele and Greg Barnardo had demanded an apology from Maimane after he accused them, in his Bokamoso newsletter published by the DA on Friday and in media reports, of being implicated in a report by law firm Bowmans which found maladministration at the City of Cape Town.
They had given Maimane until 18:00 on Monday to apologise.
“No, we have not received any letter as yet, we will consult with our lawyers. We had asked him to publicly apologise and he has not done that as yet. It shows again that this is the kind of victimisation and character assassination that’s ongoing within the DA,” said August.
In the newsletter, titled, “Cape Town city council: We cannot sacrifice accountability on the altar of false racial victimhood”, Maimane said that the DA had “sought accountability” in the City of Cape Town.
“Playing the race card is also a convenient way to escape accountability,” he wrote.
He said the Bowmans report, commissioned by the City, “made adverse findings against some councillors”.
“For five councillors, the DA wasn’t a racist party last month. But now that a credible forensic investigation by credible legal firm has allegedly implicated them in tender irregularities, the DA is suddenly a racist party. There (sic) five councillors have resigned, claiming racial victimhood. Can it be coincidence that they have suddenly decided that the DA is racist now that they stand accused of maladministration?” Maimane wrote.
When August was later specifically asked about it he reiterated that they had not received it.
In the letter, Maimane’s lawyers – Minde Schapiro & Smith Inc – said Maimane only made the allegations in the Bokamoso newsletter “and any other version of the allegations published in the media must have been drawn from the newsletter”.
“After further study of the Bowmans report, which was available for the first time on the morning of the 26th of October 2018, it is clear that your clients are not implicated in the report,” said the letter from Maimane’s lawyers.
Newsletter re-sent with correction
The lawyers further stated that Maimane “immediately” corrected the newsletter upon being advised of the errors he had made.
“For five Cape Town councillors, the DA wasn’t a racist party last month. But now that they’ve shown to be the most ardent defenders of maladministration, despite evidence which has now been confirmed by a credible forensic investigation, the DA is suddenly a racist party. These five councillors have resigned, claiming racial victimhood. Can it be coincidence that they have suddenly decided the DA is racist?” now reads the amended Bokamoso newsletter.
Maimane’s lawyers said in addition to the changes to the newsletter, “our client has today caused to be re-sent the corrected Bokamoso newsletter to all the subscribers identifying and apologising for the error and drawing their subscribers’ attention to the alteration”.
“All our client’s rights remain reserved,” they added.
However, August said they could not accept this retraction.
“We will consult our lawyers and find a way forward because it’s unacceptable that somebody lies and implicates you in things that you got no involvement in and expect you to just leave it like that,” August said. — News24