Two DA members, who helped unseat the party in the Johannesburg metro last year, are no longer members of the DA.
The two, believed to be Basil Douglas and Vinay Choonie, voted for Geoff Makhubo – an ANC candidate – for mayor during a sitting of the Johannesburg council in December 2019.
A third member is still unknown at this stage.
According to DA councillor Funzela Ngobeni, the two councillors were referred to the federal legal commission immediately after the council met on December 11, 2019.
The commission was a constitutional committee that acts as the party’s disciplinary committee, Ngobeni explained.
Both councillors were referred to the commission based on two sections of the federal constitution of the DA which states that a member ceases to be a member of the party when they:
• Publicly declares their intention to resign and/or publicly declares their resignation from the party.
• Being a public representative of the party in a legislative body, in any manner of that legislative body, votes in a manner other than in accordance with a party caucus decision which is consistent with party policy.
“The matter was concluded during the month of December and the city manager was notified of the cessation of DA membership of the two councillors and declaration of vacancies on December 16, 2019,” Ngobeni said.
He added this would send a strong message.
“This sends a strong message that ill-discipline and unbecoming behaviour that breaches our constitution will not be tolerated in the DA.”
On December 4, 2019, votes were cast to elect the new mayor, News24 reported.
The ANC bagged 137 votes with 121 seats, while the DA had 103 seats and received 101 votes for its candidate, Musa Novela.
This meant the ANC had more than the 50% plus one it needed to win and was able to take back the metro it had lost in the 2016 local government elections.
At the time, DA Gauteng provincial chairperson Mike Moriarty told News24 that while he was certain at least one DA councillor had voted for the ANC, there would be no witch hunt to find out who.
He said any DA councillor who voted for Makhubo should resign.