Nepotism and racism claims levelled at DA leader

ALLEGATIONS of nepotism and racism have surfaced in the DA in Limpopo after reports that the provincial leader is taking decisions without consulting members.

This follows reports that Desiree van der Walt had replaced two officials of the party at the provincial legislature without informing other senior party officials.

Dorothy Koopedi, the party's secretary in the legislature since 1994, and Laban Malatji, a researcher, were told to orientate two new officials before their departure on Friday.

The party had four officers whose salaries were paid by the legislature because it was the official opposition until April.

But after the elections, in which Cope became the official opposition, the DA had to scale down to two officials.

Two of them had to go and Koopedi and Malatji remained.

But Van der Walt, the party's provincial leader who is based in Cape Town, allegedly connived with the party's leader in the provincial legislature, Jacques Small, to fire the two.

Small and Meisie Kennedy are the only two DA representatives in the Limpopo legislature.

Sowetan has also learnt that one of the new faces is Van der Walt's long-time secretary in Cape Town.

An informant hinted that Van der Walt was not on good terms with her deputy Frans Letwaba.

Letwaba yesterday confirmed he was at loggerheads with Van der Walt "because of her leadership style".

Van der Walt yesterday rejected all the allegations.