In terms of the decision of a five-member panel of the DA’s Federal Legal Commission, who heard her appeal, Kohler Barnard will have to resign all other elected positions. Kohler Barnard is the deputy leader of the party in KwaZulu-Natal.
She was expelled from the party in October after a post on facebook. A month before, Kohler Barnard shared a post in which the author said public services were better under apartheid-era president PW Botha, a post which DA leaders described as “indefensible”.
The DA said after the appeal hearing that “upon due consideration of all the submissions made by all the parties, the appeal panel has decided upon the following sanction: that the membership of Ms Kohler Barnard be terminated, the termination being suspended for the duration of the fifth Parliament …”
Reacting to Kohler Banard’s reinstatement as an MP, the ANC said: ” … when the expulsion was initially announced, that it was nothing but a publicity stunt and a hopeless attempt to dupe the public into believing that the party has changed and it is intolerant to racism within its ranks”.
The ANC added: “It should be stressed that, despite being ‘expelled’, Kohler Barnard continued serving the party in the National Assembly and continued with her full role as a Member of Parliament. The public cannot be fooled, we all knew that it was only a matter of time before the real DA – the racist, apartheid apologist and defender of white supremacy – once again showed its true colours”.
Further sanctions against Kohler Barnard include that she pay a fine of R20,000 to a non-governmental organisation working in the field of reconciliation and restitution, that she not stand for re-election to party positions during the period of suspension, and that she attend a DA caucus presenation on the safe and responsible use of social media.
Unimpressed, the ANC said overturning the expulsion “once again confirms what the majority of South Africans have always suspected, that the party leader, Mmusi Maimane, is nothing but a glorified figurehead with absolutely no influence or control of the party he supposedly lead”.
The ANC said Maimane’s “sudden ascension to the so-called ‘first Black leader of the DA'”, has done nothing to transform the party and its image as “a racist party still yearning for the return of the apartheid minority rule”.
“We have no problem with the DA retaining her as a party member – and indeed she would be at home amongst fellow racists in that party – but we cannot afford to have this parliament infested with public representatives who still harbour disturbing and dangerous attitudes that are reflective of our repulsive past,” said the ANC in a statement attributed to the office of the party’s chief whip.
“In light of the DA’s scandalous endorsement of her (Kohler Barnard) disturbing views through its inaction, we will explore other options against her, including reporting her to the ethics committee for an appropriate sanction.
African News Agency