With three days to go before the DA elects a new leader in the Western Cape, the province won’t be entertaining any debates on allegations that incumbent leader Bonginkosi Madikizela plotted an assassination on his main opponent.
Earlier this week, the party was rocked by allegations that Madikizela, who is also Transport and Public Works MEC, plotted the assassination of Masizole Mnqasela, Speaker of the Western Cape Legislature. Mnqasela is running against Madikizela on Saturday.
The DA has also launched an internal investigation into the matter, but has remained mum on the details of the allegation.
Madikizela would not be drawn on the allegations.
“Let’s talk after FedEX,” he said referring to the DA’s federal executive’s investigation.
ANC leader of the opposition in the legislature, Cameron Dugmore, wrote to Mnqasela this week to request a debate on the matter.
“The matter of urgent public importance concerns the implications of the recent allegations reported in the media about an assassination plot against yourself, the Speaker of the Western Cape Legislature. Such allegations are unprecedented in the history of this legislature,” Dugmore said.
Dugmore said the matter went beyond the scope of an internal DA investigation as it affects the legislature.
He said: “These allegations threaten stability and good governance in the province. The fact that this allegation involves a fellow member of this House, and an MEC, is of great concern. MEC Madikizela is also leader of government business and is expected to work closely with you as Speaker.”
The legislature’s Deputy Speaker, Beverley Schäfer, flatly refused a debate on the matter.
Since the Speaker (Mnqasela) is a party to the matter, Schäfer dealt with the request.
“Whereas the matter you are raising is certainly topical, and in the public domain, I am, however, not of the view that there are grounds of ‘urgency’ as provided for in Rule 144. On this basis, I cannot accede to your request to override the parliamentary programme in order to accommodate this matter.”
Schäfer suggested that Dugmore consider using alternative parliamentary procedures to deal with the matter.
Ahead of the elective congress on Saturday, both Madikizela and Mnqasela enjoy the support of several high-ranking party members in legislatures and councils.
Incumbent deputy provincial leader Albert Fritz will go up against Tertius Simmers.
Both are in the provincial Cabinet and serve in the Community and Human Settlements portfolios respectively.
Former DA MP James Vos, now a councillor in the City of Cape Town, is in the running for provincial chairperson.
Grant Twigg, who lost the battle for DA Cape metro chairperson to mayor Dan Plato last month, is in the running for deputy provincial chairperson.
The congress will be held on Saturday.