The Democratic Alliance (DA) has defended its decision to remove councillor Malusi Booi from the City of Cape Town's mayoral committee, despite opposition parties labelling it as double standards.
Opposition parties said Booi's removal was unfair, considering no action has been taken against Nora Grose, who faces charges related to the misappropriation of funds, and is out on R10 000 bail.
But DA provincial leader Tertuis Simmers said Grose was not being considered for any senior full-time positions.
"In that way, she and Malusi are now treated exactly the same. From the party's political side, she voluntarily stepped back from all party-related activities, which was accepted by the party," he said.
Booi was removed from the mayoral committee on Thursday evening by Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis. The DA has urgently convened a meeting to discuss the possible suspension.
"Booi has been sent a letter notifying him of the provincial executive committee's (PEC) intention to suspend him and giving him an opportunity to provide reasons why it shouldn't be done. He also has the option to voluntarily step back from party-related activities pending the outcome of the investigation or any new information that comes to light," Simmers said.
African National Congress (ANC) caucus leader Banele Majingo said Booi had not yet been formally charged as the matter was still under investigation.
"It must be stated that the ANC is perplexed at the swiftness by the mayor in removing Booi from his position," he said.
"It leaves us wondering if he has any information at his disposal, which we don't know of, that might be of a damning nature against Booi."
Majingo added that Grose, a former member of the Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC), had been charged for misappropriating hundreds of thousands in City funds meant for food relief during the Covid-19 pandemic.
"The City of Cape Town is still footing her legal bill of more than R500 000 in taxpayer money. Grose is currently out on a R10 000 bail, yet she remains a councillor in the City of Cape Town. Our calls for her removal have fallen on deaf ears," he said.
In September last year, Hill-Lewis said "the public would not be out of pocket" in funding Grose's defence.
He said that if a public official was found guilty, they would be liable to repay the costs of their defence to the City.
The mayor said at the time, "If they are innocent, then costs should be recovered from those who have instituted the [allegedly] spurious charges. So, the public is not out of pocket."
On Friday, GOOD councillor Suzette Little said: "The mayor's decision to sack Booi also raises the issue of Nora Grose once again, as she is currently being defended with the help of public funds when she's already charged in the Commercial Crimes Court. The City cannot continue to ignore questions around this inconsistency."
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Cape metro chairperson Ntsikelelo Tyandela said DA must not be a "coward and racist in its approach".
"This is a racist act to save a white face from being accused of corruption. This is because, in the eyes of the DA, whiteness is a goddess. The EFF calls for the DA to fire Councillor Nora Grose for fraud and money laundering allegations," he said.
EMAIL THIS ARTICLE SAVE THIS ARTICLE
To subscribe email email@example.com or click here
To advertise email firstname.lastname@example.org or click here