DA puts Glynnis Breytenbach on the case of leakers after Mmusi Maimane debacle
Party leaders were asked to hand in their electronic devices
The DA is investigating how Mmusi Maimane’s intention to stand as a Western Cape premier candidate was leaked to the media.
The Sunday Times can reveal that at least three party leaders have been contacted by the chair of the DA’s federal legal commission, Glynnis Breytenbach. She has allegedly asked for their electronic devices including cellphones and laptops.
Western Cape DA leader Bonginkosi Madikizela is one of the party’s leaders who was contacted.
The Sunday Times could not reach the other two senior DA members who are said to have received a similar demand from Breytenbach.
Breytenbach said yesterday that she was leading the investigation of the leaks but would not give details.
“What kind of a banana would I be if I discussed an ongoing investigation with you,” Breytenbach said when asked if she had requested electronic devices from party members.
When asked if she was not afraid that her investigation would be seen as an invasion of privacy, Breytenbach said: “I am not afraid of anything … I am the chairperson of the federal legal commission and I do as the federal executive tells me. If they want an investigation, then we do an investigation.”
Asked for comment yesterday, Madikizela said that he had been contacted by Breytenbach but that he had refused to hand over his devices.
“I am not going to do that. I have already told Glynnis that it is a violation of my privacy. And in any case, whenever I speak, I speak on record,” said Madikizela.
“I take exception to being investigated for leaks.”
The chair of the DA federal executive, James Selfe, had not replied to questions by the time of going to print.
DA spokesperson Solly Malatsi said: “[The federal executive] has been consistently concerned about the leaks of confidential party information and, given that in this case the scores/ranking of candidates were leaked, which seriously undermines our internal processes for selecting candidates, an investigation was sought.”
A DA insider, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the investigation was aimed at some members of the provincial executive committee in the Western Cape.
“Everyone is shocked. How are they doing this?” said the insider.
Another DA insider said the matter had been discussed at the federal executive meeting, at which some leaders raised serious misgivings over recurring leaks of DA information.
“It was discussed at that meeting and people said the leaks need to be investigated, not just this one [the Maimane story]. People were saying it was not right that there were recurring leaks.”
The insider said the main concern was that the scores of candidates for the post of premier were leaked.
The Sunday Times reported last week that Alan Winde was No1, followed by David Maynier, with Madikizela third.
“It’s a massive violation, particularly for the other candidates, if their ranking was leaked. It will make people question the process, so that’s why it’s being taken more seriously than other leaks,” said the insider.
That meant that candidates had found out from the newspaper about their rankings, the insider added.