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DA suspension of Stevens Mokgalapa praiseworthy

The DA did the honourable thing to place Stevens Mokgalapa on special leave as speedily as they did, the writer says.
The DA did the honourable thing to place Stevens Mokgalapa on special leave as speedily as they did, the writer says.
Image: Gallo Images / Phill Magakoe

It is refreshing to learn that beleaguered Tshwane mayor Stevens Mokgalapa will be placed on special leave today by his party, the DA.

A memorandum by provincial chair Mike Moriarty sent to DA structures yesterday, which we have seen, confirms that Mokgalapa will step aside.

Although we don't know the real politics within the DA from where we are sitting, the opposition party deserves kudos for the speed at which they reacted to Mokgalapa's alleged sex scandal with a member of the mayoral committee for roads and transport, Sheila Senkubuge.

An audio clip of Mokgalapa and Senkubuge discussing plans to fire government officials emerged on Sunday and calls for his head intensified this week.

The damning 30-minute clip also suggests that the pair had gotten intimate and engaged in sexual acts in the meeting.

On Monday, Mokgalapa's future was discussed during a marathon DA Tshwane caucus meeting attended by the party's bigwigs such as head of governance James Selfe and Gauteng leader John Moodey.

Moodey made no bones after the meeting that if Mokgalapa and Senkubuge are found guilty, his party will not hesitate to take action.

The DA did the honourable thing to place Mokgalapa on special leave as speedily as they did. Allowing the executive mayor to continue with his duties after such an embarrassing revelation would not have been ideal for a party trying to regroup after it was painted by a section of its black members as a racist party, after Mmusi Maimane's resignation.

But on the Mokgalapa saga, the DA showed us that it has some right-minded officials and we applaud their action.

We hope other political parties will emulate them and act swiftly against wayward members. The man has allegedly brought the party into disrepute and the only way the DA can save face is to act decisively with officials like Mokgalapa.

While we are not saying or suggesting that Mokgalapa is guilty, as he still has to appear before the federal legal commission to determine his innocence, the executive mayor's alleged behaviour is seen by some in the DA as a shame. We hope appropriate action will be taken against Mokgalapa if he is indeed found guilty.

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