Deployment fees cost DA members
THE Democratic Alliance is in the process of axing 20 of its councillors across the country for not paying their "candidate's fees", which is half of a single month's income , and "tithes" - which is up to 3% of their monthly income - to the party.
But former Bitou (Plettenberg Bay) municipality speaker Johan Brümmer yesterday said his axing from the DA had the hallmarks of a conspiracy because he had been vociferous in his opposition to some decisions taken by the party leadership on local matters.
Now he has decided to take the party to court, saying the DA had taken away his only source of income and he had been a "career politician" for the last 12 years.
Brümmer said he was dropped from the party for owing R5621, which he subsequently paid. On the day of his axing, he said, he offered to negotiate with the party leaders but was rejected.
"Sure, you can say I should get another job but I'm a middle-aged white man, where do I get a job? I'm a career politician. I've been a politician for 12 years and I've got another 12 years ahead of me. What this thing (decision) effectively does, it just wipes my career out," said Brümmer, adding that he had no other "fall back" on his monthly salary of R36000.
Jemayne Andrews, a DA ward councillor in Cape Town who was also axed by the party for failing to pay her dues, said she would not accept the decision, indicating she would also be challenging her dismissal.
But DA federal executive chairman James Selfe dismissed Brümmer, saying he was free to challenge it in court.
DA councillors who were elected on May 18 last year were given until the end of 2011 to pay their dues.
Selfe said councillors who had complained that they were experiencing financial hard times were given an extension until the end of March, and this was again extended to the end of July.
"There are lots and lots of paid up members but we're now dealing with outstanding ones, and there's a process that was gone through in which the councillors had the opportunity to prove that he or she had paid the amount in the designated accounts," Selfe said.