DA KZN leader will no longer attend 'kangaroo court' over Facebook post

04 April 2019 - 14:58 By Bongani Mthethwa
The DA's KZN leader, Zwakele Mncwango, says the 'trumped-up' charges against him are a diversionary tactic.
The DA's KZN leader, Zwakele Mncwango, says the 'trumped-up' charges against him are a diversionary tactic.

Democratic Alliance KwaZulu-Natal leader and the party's premier candidate Zwakele Mncwango wants nothing more to do with a disciplinary hearing into a Facebook post by him, dubbing the hearing a "kangaroo court". 

Mncwango appeared before the KZN legislature's disciplinary committee, headed by deputy speaker Meshack Radebe, for the second time on Wednesday after he was charged with unauthorised publishing, broadcasting of proceedings, gross dereliction of duty and gross dishonesty.

The charge comes after he posted only the cover page of a much-anticipated commission of inquiry into political killings on his Facebook page, resulting in a complaint by KZN's ANC premier Willies Mchunu that he had broken the law by publishing the commission's findings ahead of their official release. The document was officially released in September last year.

Mchunu set up the Moerane commission of inquiry to investigate a spate of political killings in the province and its underlying causes. The commission, headed by advocate Marumo Moerane, wrapped up its work in April last year and its final report was released to the public by Mchunu in September last year.

In a statement issued on Thursday, DA member of the KZN legislature Hlanganani Gumbi said Mncwango would no longer attend Mchunu's "kangaroo court" after day two of the disciplinary hearing, which dragged on for almost 12 hours without a conclusion.

"The provincial leader cannot spend any more of his valuable time on this matter. As of now he will no longer personally take part in this kangaroo court. Instead, he will spend his time on his campaign trail where he will engage with the people about crime and political killings in the province," he said.

Gumbi said the DA's legal team would deal with all further matters relating to the case "which we regard as a waste of public money and a pathetic personal vendetta by the premier".

He said the DA had on Wednesday challenged Mchunu to drop "what we regard as trumped-up charges and to instead focus on apprehending the real criminals in our province".

"We also invited him to attend a forum to discuss political killings, arrests and implementation of the commission's recommendations. The offer stills stands."

He called on the ANC to stop using diversion tactics and start implementing the commission’s recommendations.

The commission recommended an urgent investigation into politicians, public officials and business people associated with corrupt activities in the public service as a matter of priority.

It also recommended that political parties take responsibility for the violent competition between their members for political positions and power; immediately settle differences within and between themselves through peaceful means and discipline their members whose conduct encourages or results in political intolerance and violence, and where they are involved in or accomplices to killings, they must be reported to the relevant law enforcement authorities.