John is in a mood and Godzille has a lot to do with it

John Moodey says he doesn't even feel comfortable sleeping in a DA T-shirt.
John Moodey says he doesn't even feel comfortable sleeping in a DA T-shirt.
Image: GALLO IMAGES/ RAPPORT/ ELIZABETH SEJAKE

The DA has lost another prominent member.

Its Gauteng leader, John Moodey, quit the party in a surprise move on Wednesday.

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

Moodey, who was running for the position of DA national leader with John Steenhuisen and Mbali Ntuli at a virtual congress due in October, said the party had changed since he joined it.

Moodey has been a member of the DA since its formation in 2000, having first 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.

There are further charges being brought against me for allegedly being involved in a conspiracy to frame a senior DA parliamentarian on charges of soliciting sex for jobs
Former DA Gauteng leader John Moodey

Like other former leaders who have quit the DA, among them Herman Mashaba and Mmusi Maimane, Moodey used his press briefing to target DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille in his criticism of the party’s leadership.

An emotional Moodey, who was also facing charges in the party, said the final straw came when it was brought to his attention that the DA was formulating new charges against him.

“There are further charges being brought against me for allegedly being involved in a conspiracy to frame a senior DA parliamentarian on charges of soliciting sex for jobs,” said Moodey.

He said while he’d previously fended off attempts to force him out of the DA through similar tactics, he was no longer interested in staying, as the party’s political direction had changed for the worse.

“I stayed on [before] because I believed in the party and the direction it was taking,” said Moodey.

In terms of the DA’s new direction, he said the party was comfortable with remaining an opposition party in parliament and other provincial legislatures, while only interested in governing the Western Cape.

Moodey further slammed the DA for its apparent silence on Zille’s tweets on race, colonialism and apartheid.

“She has the belief that there are more racist laws passed since 1994 than during apartheid. It exposes her thinking and underlying sentiments. This statement has and is causing irreparable harm to the DA brand and racial harmony in SA, yet she remains in office,” said Moodey.

Chester Missing plays South African politician Helen Zille trying to justify why so many black leaders are leaving the DA.

“She is holding a prominent political position in the DA, she is a brand ambassador for the party ... It is a tragedy that in such an important time in our history, the present leadership just continues to follow her blindly,” said Moodey. 

“That the party remains quiet when she makes such pronouncements shows that it supports her opinion. I have regrettably, and after much soul searching, reached a point where I am unable to defend these insensitive utterances and statements.”

Moodey said Zille’s tweets about black people living in a perpetual state of victimhood were hurtful and insensitive, and criticised her understanding and stance on the Black Lives Matter movement.

He said to stay on in the DA for the sake of a salary was not an option for him. 

A joint statement by party spokesperson Refiloe Nt’sekhe and Gauteng chairperson Mike Moriarty denied there was unfairness in the charges faced by Moodey.

Moodey’s departure is both unfortunate and unnecessary

“Moodey’s departure is both unfortunate and unnecessary. The DA believes that he is making a mistake because the DA is the only party that can unseat the ANC and deliver a fair, effective and accountable government,” read the statement.

“John has cited alleged unfairness through the charges he faces before our Federal Legal Commission. We confirm that due process was followed, as it always has been. We reject the allegation that these charges amount to a witch hunt against him. It is very unfortunate that he plays the race card to justify his decision to avoid due process.”


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