DKB pleads guilty

DA MP enters plea agreement, sentencing recommendation to be considered by Federal Executive

Dianne Kohler-Barnard pleads guilty

Cape Town - Former Democratic Alliance (DA) shadow minister for police Dianne Kohler-Barnard has pleaded guilty to various internal disciplinary charges regarding a controversial social media post.

“It was a plea and settlement agreement where she makes admissions and the prosecution and defence get together to discuss an appropriate sentence,” DA MP and chair of the party’s federal legal commission Glynnis Breytenbach said on Friday.

Breytenbach said a recommendation by the panel on the appropriate settlement would be sent to the federal executive for consideration. It was not known when the executive would make a decision.

She would not say what disciplinary action was recommended following the hearing, which spanned Friday morning and was closed to the public and journalists.

Kohler-Barnard pleaded guilty to misconduct, bringing the party into disrepute and not abiding by the party’s social media policy. She had courted controversy last week when she shared a Facebook post from journalist Paul Kirk, praising former apartheid president PW Botha.

In the post Kirk declared: "Please come back PW Botha - you were far more honest than any of these [African National Congress] rogues, and you provided a far better service to the public".

Kohler-Barnard has since apologised for sharing the post.

Shortly thereafter, she said her sharing of the post without reading its full contents was "stupid".

She said she had missed the reference to PW Botha, which was in the middle of the post, when she shared it.

In a recent DA reshuffle, Kohler Barnard was removed from her position and is now deputy shadow minister of public works.

This article first appeared on News24 – see here