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ACDP responds to DA allegations - Grant Haskin

Grant Haskin
13 May 2009

Cape Town deputy mayor refutes claims about his party's conduct towards Helen Zille

The ACDP wishes to respond to the DA's stated intention to replace the ACDP's position of Executive Deputy Mayor of Cape Town with a DA person, and lies being spread about the ACDP.

The ACDP's Acting Mayor of Cape Town, Cllr Grant Haskin (elected as Executive Deputy Mayor of Cape Town in Oct 2007) has confirmed that, following the caucus meeting on 11 May, he has written to them asking them to provide further details of their very serious allegations so that the ACDP can investigate further and respond thereto.  "We cannot respond to unfounded allegations and it is not right that the DA makes such serious allegations without providing details or proof."  The DA's national leader has acknowledged that that their written response would be forthcoming in due course.

In a statement printed in Cape Argus (pg 5, 11 May) DA Leader Zille's Spokesperson, Robert Macdonald, reveals that "for the DA to be as effective as possible politically, it had to gain control over the deputy mayor seat." This statement confirms the ACDP's suspicions that the DA's allegations are simply being made to discredit and intimidate the ACDP into handing over the seat to the DA. The ACDP has no intention of doing so.

The multi party agreement signed by 6 political parties in March 2006 allocates specific seats to specific parties. It allocates the seat of Mayor to the DA, the Deputy Mayor to the ACDP, the Speaker to the FF+  and so on. The ACDP stands by this agreement. It must also be noted that there is no agreement compelling parties to work together in all muncipalities or in the Provincial government.

The DA's allegations against the ACDP are summed up as follows:  

"ACDP IS NOT HONEST AND TRUSTWORTHY"

ACDP's letter to the DA leadership, dated 11 May 2009, has requested more details on these allegations as we view them in a very serious light.  We are committed to investigating them as soon as the DA responds. 

"ACDP CAMPAIGNED AGAINST THE DA IN THE ELECTION"

There is no restriction by agreement or law, that one political party cannot campaign against another.  It is unreasonable for the DA to say that the ACDP should not have campaigned against the DA (Weekend Argus Sunday edition, pg 2, 10 May 2009) when the DA campaigned against us.  Example: DA radio adverts telling voters not to waste their vote on a smaller party.  We're pleased to note that the DA has now conceded such (Die Burger, pg 9, 11 May 2009).

"ACDP VOTED AGAINST DA'S PREMIER CANDIDATE"

This allegation leads us to question the integrity of the secret ballot voting process used for the election of the WC Premier and Speaker, since the DA are so convinced that the ACDP voted against the DA's Premier candidate.  Nevertheless, the results of the ballot process clearly confirm what Ms Cupido has stated, and that is that she abstained from voting for or against the Premier and Speaker and did not vote for the ANC candidates.

The seats in WC Provincial Parliament are allocated as follows: DA - 22, ID - 2, COPE - 3, ACDP - 1, ANC - 14.  The results in the voting for Premier were: For Zille as Premier - 24, Against Zille as Premier - 14, Abstentions - 4. The same results are reflected in the vote for Speaker.

This confirms that the ACDP abstained and did not vote against the DA candidate as Premier or Speaker.  Ms Cupido did so for various reasons:

  • The ACDP fully expected that Helen Zille would be elected unopposed and that there would have been forewarning by the DA or ANC as to the ANC's intention to nominate a candidate. Since no such forewarning was forthcoming, Ms Cupido entered the Legislature Chamber assuming Zille as Premier.  Then the ANC nominated a candidate at the last minute, she chose to abstain since she had no mandate, arrangement or undertaking to vote for or against.
  • An abstention cannot be counted as a vote against Premier Zille.
  • The ACDP's national position on the coalition government states that we will only be part of a full multi party government by agreement or a multi party opposition government. This precludes being in government with the ANC. Knowing this, Ms Cupido did not vote against the DA candidate or for the ANC candidate.

"ACDP TRIED TO CREATE A UNITED FRONT AGAINST THE DA - THE ID TURNED DOWN THE ACDP's PROPOSAL"

The ACDP has a multi party government agreement in the City of Cape Town and various other municipalities in the Western Cape, but not at provincial or national level. It is normal for all parties to communicate with other parties both in and out of government, on a wide range of issues.

  • ACDP's Pauline Cupido was approached by the ANC to work with them to unseat the DA in the City of Cape Town. Ms. Cupido informed the ANC of the ACDP's national position that we will only enter into a multi party agreement or an opposition party agreement. This, by definition, excludes the ANC.  She confirmed that there was no chance of working with the ANC.
  • Many of the parties campaigning to win seats in the WC Provincial elections spoke informally before the elections about possible outcomes of the provincial election. These included the City partners being the ID, UDM, ACDP and FF+. However, no formal commitments or agreements were reached at any stage.

Once it was announced that the DA had won a majority, there was no longer any need to pursue such discussions further. The ACDP finds it odd and inconsistent that the DA is angry with the ACDP for having participated with the ID in such informal talks, yet have invited the ID into the provincial cabinet, seeing nothing wrong with their participation in these same talks.  The ID never turned down an ACDP proposal because these were general discussions with no particular party making formal proposals, lobbying or taking the lead.

"LETTER ACCUSED ZILLE OF BEING ANTI-CHRISTIAN"

Prior to the elections, Cllr Bergh wrote a letter (that was eventually published online without his consent), wherein he makes the point that an individual's beliefs within a political party are subjected to the majority views of the party and/or leadership of the party, to the extent that it is sometimes impossible to align ones personal beliefs with the final decision of the party.  To illustrate the point, he used the example of an ACDP motion in Council regarding Ascension Day where DA Cllrs and Cllrs from other parties were prevented from supporting the ACDP motion, even though their personal beliefs convicted them to do so. In this letter, he also incorrectly stated that Mayor Zille had 'angrily attacked the ACDP in a tirade'.  He apologised and retracted this statement in writing after he was informed that this statement was incorrect. He also asked for it to be published online.  He also apologised to Mayor Zille in person. At no time did he or the ACDP allege that Ms. Zille is anti-Christian.  We therefore reject that allegation.

Statement issued by ACDP Cllr Grant Haskin, Acting Mayor of Cape Town, May 12 2009

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I am no Christian yet even I can see the merit in the ACDP retaining the deputy mayorship. There has to be a balance at the highest level. A control freaked DA ruling the Western Cape is more frightening to me than a control freaked ANC governing the . .more

by Average Joe Soap on May 13 2009, 08:12
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DA must catch a wakeup
As a DA supporter, I think the DA and all other opposition parties would be best served by reserving their mud-slinging for the ruling party.
They'd do well to work together, and I see no reason why the ACDP wouldn't want to be a constructive part . .more

by Just Wondering on May 13 2009, 10:47
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ACDP should catch a wakeup too
I'm also very disappointed in the ACDP and Ms Cupido's abstention - does she not have a brain of her own? That she needs a mandate in order to make a simple decision is P******* and wreaks of ANCness.

I would expect my candidate to be able to . .more

by Just Wondering on May 13 2009, 10:56
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ACDP is right
It seems that Helen Zille is on a powertrip and has been in the clouds since her election as premier. Grant Haskin was a top notch deputy mayor who has done more in his former position than anyone else who has held the position. The DA has discarded the . .more

by DA sucks on June 02 2009, 21:36
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