Ex-Gauteng DA leader Moodey playing the race card: Steenhuisen

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Ex-Gauteng DA leader Moodey playing the race card: Steenhuisen

In defaming former colleagues he’s deflecting attention from the sex-for-jobs scandal, the party leader says

Political reporter
DA leader John Steenhuisen says outgoing member John Moodey is engaged in a smear campaign against the party.
DA leader John Steenhuisen says outgoing member John Moodey is engaged in a smear campaign against the party.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

The DA has hit back at former Gauteng party leader John Moodey, saying he was running away from charges of attempted bribery to smear a senior politician before he jumped ship.

At a press conference on Thursday the party said it had evidence against Moodey, including text messages and recordings, and that a decision to charge him had been taken by the DA federal executive.

DA leader John Steenhuisen added that Moodey was engaged in a smear campaign against the party.

“Mr Moodey, in resigning from the DA, is running away from facing a very serious set of charges relating to an attempt to frame a political opponent in a sex-for-jobs scandal.

“This also allegedly involved attempting to bribe two young and vulnerable first-time councillors into giving false evidence. Mr Moodey was also to face a charge that he was involved in offering these councillors promotions on the candidates’ list for the 2021 list elections if they cooperated in making false statements to smear the senior politician involved,” said Steenhuisen.

It is very clear that Mr Moodey has sought to deflect attention from himself by defaming erstwhile colleagues.

Steenhuisen said Moodey was seeking to damage the party as he was leaving – and was also playing the race card.

“It is very unfortunate that in leaving the party, [which] until recently he wanted to lead, Mr Moodey has spread falsehoods and blatant untruths which he is using as an attempt and subterfuge to justify his reasons for leaving,” said Steenhuisen. “It is very clear that Mr Moodey has sought to deflect attention from himself by defaming erstwhile colleagues, playing the race card and seeking to inflict as much damage on the party as he possibly could on his way out the door.”

Moodey resigned from the DA and as leader of Gauteng on Wednesday, saying the DA was no longer the party he joined. He said the formulation of charges against him was the last straw. He further made several allegations of unfairness in the party’s disciplinary process, and accused its leadership of being involved in a purge.

Moodey had also taken a swipe at federal council chairperson Helen Zille for her tweets about colonialism, apartheid and race. Zille is facing disciplinary action over her latest tweets about apartheid.    

But Steenhuisen dismissed allegations of a purge, saying the party’s legal commission was independent from political leaders.

“The case is one of the most serious that has ever been before the DA’s federal legal commission,” said Steenhuisen.

The deputy chairperson of the federal legal commission of the party, Werner Horn, said the DA had concrete evidence against Moodey, including recordings and messages.

Moodey said part of the reason he quit was that the party’s leaders were planning to charge him with conspiracy to implicate one of its MPs in a “jobs for sex scandal”.

Moodey had been a member of the DA since its formation in 2000, having joined its forerunner, the Democratic Party, in 1998. He said he no longer felt at home in the DA and was even struggling to sleep in a party T-shirt.

He said the DA was “captured” and he could no longer defend it in public.