Daily News

War of words as DA’S Pillay quits

- WILLEM PHUNGULA willem.phungula@inl.co.za

A WAR of words has erupted between KZN DA chairperso­n Dean Macpherson and the party’s former Ward 73 councillor, Ronnie Pillay, over why the latter left the party.

Pillay quit as both a DA member and its councillor in ethekwini last week, citing the party’s failure to deal with the corruption he had reported to the party leadership.

He told the Daily News yesterday that the DA provincial leadership, particular­ly Macpherson as the chairperso­n, failed to act against councillor­s and staff in the Chatsworth constituen­cy regarding corrupt activities.

But Macpherson hit back, saying Pillay was not doing party work and he always sent sick notes.

Macpherson said Pillay made allegation­s about corruption without ever substantia­ting them.

“The facts are that Pillay was absent from his ward and party work for some time. He was submitting sick letters continuous­ly, saying he was too unwell to work and (gave that as) the reason for him not doing his ward duties, council work and party responsibi­lities.

“Pillay has never once submitted any evidence of corruption yet – just made allegation­s without substantia­ting it,” said Macpherson.

Furthermor­e, he questioned why the former councillor did not open criminal cases, as required by law, if he was aware of corruption – “unless he was breaking the law himself”.

“We suspect he is going to contest for another party and has been exposed (for) using sick notes as an excuse for not working,” said Macpherson.

Pillay also hit back, calling Macpherson a “liar”. “Dean is a liar who is making up this story, I have 20 members and (this) can be proven. I could not open charges without informing the party, which I did with Dean. I have the transcript of that hearing. You tell him he must not lie, and he threatened me, though, yes we have some cases open.

“Dean, you are making serious allegation­s of me and I will be taking you up for this. I have my staff and will tell the truth, even the branch election was fraudulent­ly done. You need to prove my work suffered, I will prove you wrong,” said Pillay.

He said he was in hospital for only a few days with other councillor­s and did not understand why the party leaders would pick on him. He also lashed out at the provincial leadership for not providing offices for councillor­s for almost a year-and=-a half, and urged Macpherson to stop telling lies.

Pillay confirmed that he would join a new party soon and said he was considerin­g requests from various parties.

Macpherson said he stood by his earlier words.

In a string of messages seen by the Daily News that Pillay claimed to have sent to Macpherson asking him to intervene, it appeared as if he had exchanged physical blows with another DA councillor in Chatsworth. Whatsapp your views on this story at 071 485 7995

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