ActionSA is in possession of a forensic investigation report commissioned by the State Attorney which comes to the conclusion that Deputy Speaker, Beverley Schafer, was found to have caused fruitless and wasteful expenditure – the same charges levelled against former Speaker Masizole Mnqasela.
Of significance to the people of the Western Cape, Schafer is the presumptive DA Candidate for Speaker to be elected in the Western Cape Provincial Legislature. As to why the DA has failed to take similar action against Schafer, as they did against Mnqasela, is a matter for the DA to clarify.
The State Attorney’s Report makes the following findings against Schafer:
The Office of the State Attorney recommended that the Speaker submit a complaint about Ms Schafer to the Conduct Committee, and that the fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred be recovered from her.
It is noteworthy that, despite the serious findings made by the Office of the State Attorney of misconduct and the lack of credibility, the DA did not bring a Motion of No Confidence to remove Ms Schafer from her position of Deputy Speaker. This failure is, at best, evidence of factionalism and double standards within the DA and will undoubtedly be perceived as racist by the people of South Africa and of the Western Cape when juxtaposed with the Masizole Mnqasela matter.
Instead, the DA is likely to propose Ms Schafer as its candidate for Speaker of the Western Cape Provincial Legislature. This is unacceptable for a position which is essential to ensure that the Executive is held to account for its performance and conduct – something unlikely if the candidate has been politically shielded from accountability.
The unanswered question at this point in time, is whether Ms Schafer has paid back the R158 297.86 that was deemed necessary by the State Attorney’s investigation. Unfortunately, the DA is likely to use its majority to railroad Schafer’s election as Speaker in a legislature that has proven ineffective in shining a light on the failures of the DA in the Western Cape.
This is precisely why ActionSA is necessary in the Western Cape. The arrogance of majority has produced a situation where internal factional interests in the DA are manifesting in important governance issues in the Western Cape.
The notion that the DA governs best is relative only to the exceptionally low bar of the ANC. In many places in the Western Cape service delivery is no better than in ANC-run provinces, and now we see ANC-like tendencies in the handling of serious investigative reports.
This is why ActionSA has a vital role to play in this province, and why we will take our offer to every community in the Western Cape.