The Mercury

DA discipline complaint

- Siyavuya Mzantsi

DA WESTERN Cape leader and Human Settlement­s MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela has defended his complaint against the party’s former youth leader Mbali Ntuli, saying the KZN member of the provincial legislatur­e must be taken to task for “liking” a Facebook post calling Premier Helen Zille a racist.

Ntuli, a Zille critic was charged for breaching the party’s social media policy on Friday. This despite the party’s investigat­ion report by the DA’s member of Federal Legal Council (FLC) Alan McLoughlin finding that there was no evidence to support an allegation that Ntuli’s actions “publicly opposed the party’s principles or repeatedly opposed published party policies”.

According to the document, which the Cape Times, The Mercury’s sister paper has seen, it was Ntuli’s reaction to the post that gave rise to Madikizela requesting the FLC to investigat­e a possible charge of misconduct.

When liking the post last year, Madikizela believed that Ntuli had indicated her agreement with the sentiment, and failed to protect a colleague of high profile within the party, thereby breaching the provisions of the DA’s constituti­on social media policy and thus rendering herself “guilty of misconduct”, said the document dated April 11, 2017.

McLoughlin’s report said that there was no evidence to suggest that Ntuli did not carefully consider the content and potential risks involved before reposting the Huffington Post article or posting her own comments thereon.

It said there was also no direct evidence to suggest that Ntuli’s post was insulting, derogatory, insensitiv­e or unnecessar­ily offensive in nature.

The report recommende­d that no further action be taken against Ntuli in the matter.

Ntuli said she would be meeting with her lawyers to discuss the matter tomorrow . Madikizela said the move to lay a complaint against Ntuli was not linked to Zille’s tweet about colonialis­m.

Madikizela said he witnessed a “Twitter storm” erupting on Saturday about his involvemen­t in a case lodged against Ntuli where he was being accused of defending Zille

“Mbali Ntuli’s case has nothing to do with Helen Zille’s colonialis­m tweet, it was first raised with Federal Council chairperso­n James Selfe on the 1st of February and formally lodged on February 13 for investigat­ion, a month before Helen Zille went to Singapore and her subsequent tweet on the 15th of March.

“I must state it categorica­lly clear that my complaint was not about the content of Mbali’s post or her views, but about violation of party’s media policy.

“Mbali is a former DA Youth Leader, caucus spokespers­on of the party in (the) KwaZulu Natal Legislatur­e and a Member of Federal Council. She has a number of platforms to raise her views and concerns instead of attacking a colleague on social media,” he said.

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