ANC labels Kohler Barnard's expulsion a 'public relations stunt'


Controversial MP Dianne Kohler Barnard has been dropped from the DA's shadow cabinet's police portfolio.

CAPE TOWN – The African National Congress is “not moved” by the expulsion of Democratic Alliance MP Dianne Kohler Barnard from the DA, ANC chief whip Stone Sizani’s office said on Saturday.

“We are not moved by the party’s public relations stunt, which could have more to do with internal factional battles than an attempt to cleanse itself of racism,” it said in a statement.

“The party ought to deal viciously and consistently with all cases of racism within its ranks, not just convenient low-hanging fruits, to prove its commitment to the values upon which our constitutional democracy is founded. We also note that this might not be the end, as the party’s policy allows her to appeal,” the statement said.

On Friday night, DA national spokeswoman Phumzile van Damme announced that MPs Kohler Barnard and Juanita Terblanche had been expelled from the DA.

“Today [Friday], the DA federal executive met to discuss, among other matters, the findings of the Federal Legal Commission (FLC) in respect of the matters concerning Dianne Kohler Barnard MP and Juanita Terblanche MP,” Van Damme said in a statement.

“The federal executive accepted the FLC’s finding that Ms Kohler Barnard is guilty of misconduct. The federal executive further resolved that Ms Kohler Barnard’s membership of the DA be terminated.”

Kohler Barnard had the right to an internal appeal.

“In the matter of Juanita Terblanche, the federal executive upheld the FLC’s finding that Ms Terblanche’s appeal be dismissed. Accordingly, Ms Terblanche’s membership is terminated,” Van Damme said.

On September 15, Kohler Barnard shared a Facebook post by someone else which said education, health, and the police service were better during the apartheid-era rule of former president PW Botha.

The post went viral and drew considerable criticism.

She subsequently deleted the post and apologised unreservedly.

At the DA’s internal disciplinary hearing earlier this month, she pleaded guilty to charges of misconduct and bringing the party into disrepute.

Terblanche was reportedly linked to misappropriation of party funds in the North West, a matter which had been ongoing since 2010.