Termination of DKB's DA membership suspended - Glynnis Breytenbach

Appeal Panel orders MP to pay R20 000 fine, resign from her position as deputy KZN leader, and attend social media course

Appeal Hearing of Dianne Kohler Barnard MP 

22 December 2015

The Appeal hearing of Dianne Kohler Barnard MP took place today in Sandton, Johannesburg before a five-member panel of the Federal Legal Commission (FLC) of the Democratic Alliance.

The Appeal stems from a disciplinary hearing in which Ms Kohler Barnard pleaded guilty to inter alia bringing the party into disrepute and breaching the social media policy.  The recommendation of the panel was sent to the Federal Executive (Fedex) for confirmation or amendment as is the normal procedure.  The Fedex increased the recommended sanction of the panel, and terminated the membership of Ms Kohler Barnard.

Ms Kohler Barnard exercised her automatic right of appeal against this sanction to a full panel of the FLC.  The Fedex made written submissions, as did Adv Barry Roux SC on behalf of Ms Kohler Barnard, and also Mr Alan McLoughlin on behalf of the FLC.  

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 on condition:

- that she not be found guilty of transgressions as those now convicted of during the period of suspension;

And further that:

- she pay a fine of R20,000.00 to a non-governmental organisation that does work in the field of reconciliation and restitution amongst persons disadvantaged by the apartheid government before end February 2016;

- she resigns from all elected positions in the party, except her position in the National Assembly, and that she not stand for (re)election to such position(s) for the duration of the period of suspension;

-she attend, as a Caucus member, a presentation on the safe and responsible use of social media to be presented to the DA Caucus;

This matter has then reached its conclusion and the Democratic Alliance regards the matter finalized. The internal procedures of the Party have been fully tested and have demonstrated not only that the procedures work, but also a commitment to transparent and accountable internal governance.

Issued by Adv Glynnis Breytenbach, Chairperson of the DA's Federal Legal Commission, 22 December 2015