Suspended Western Cape speaker says Hawks yet to approach him about charges

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The speaker of the Western Cape legislature, Masizole Mnqasela, says he has not yet been approached by the Hawks about the charges leveled against him. On Saturday, his Democratic Alliance (DA) party suspended him from all activities.

The DA says its Federal Legal Commission has found that there’s enough credibility in allegations relating to irregular travel, subsistence and allowance claims against him. Mnqasela was suspended from party activities by the DA’s provincial executive committee.

He refuses to be drawn into the merits of the matter but says he’s innocent until proven guilty and should not be tried in a court of public opinion.

“I grew up very poor and my parents taught me one thing, that you must not steal and I will not start at this age. This has not been very easy for my family, it has been very emotional, you can do anything to me but don’t touch my family, and that hurts me very deeply. Politics must be politics, but they must not get to a point of being personal and trying to destroy one’s character,” claims Mnqasela.

‘Disciplined member of DA’

The DA suspended him after it considered his reasons to not be placed under suspension. Mnqasela, who has been the speaker of the provincial parliament since 2019, says he remains a disciplined member of the DA.

Mnqasela also adds, “All of this, based on the internal processes of the institution, will be tested against the policy of the institution and when that time comes, I am sure I will begin to understand exactly what the real charges are against me. Of course, when I see exactly of the specifics only that shall I be able to express what exactly is preferred against me.”

The DA Western Cape Chairperson says Mnqasela will remain in his position as Speaker of the Western Cape Legislature.

“We are not allowed to interfere with the processes of any of our governments nor any external investigation such as that by the Hawks or SAPS which must run its own course. Upon its conclusion, any finding emanating from such processes will also be considered for possible further steps,” adds the chairperson.

Mnqasela is a senior DA member and has served as an MP in the National Assembly for many years before he was moved to the provincial legislature.