THE DA should have fired George mayor Charles Standers “a long time ago”, party leader Mmusi Maimane said on Thursday.
Standers, who was second on the DA’s proportional list for the George municipality in the Western Cape, dramatically resigned from the party on Wednesday, citing racism and corruption within the party.
He also accused the DA’s regional leadership of interference in council matters and for bringing untested disciplinary charges against him that have tarnished his image.
In his resignation letter, sent to Western Cape local government MEC Anton Bredell, Standers requested that his name be removed from the DA’s list for the local government elections. The DA’s mayoral candidate for George is Melvin Naik.
Speaking to BDLive during his door-to-door campaign in the Port Elizabeth township of New Brighton on Thursday, Maimane said that it was right that Standers had resigned. He dismissed Standers’ racism and corruption allegations as “sour grapes”, and said the resignation would not in any way affect his party’s campaign ahead of next week’s crucial local government polls.
“We have wasted our time on that guy. We should have fired him a long time ago … it’s right that he resigns … he was facing a disciplinary hearing and he was not going to come back after that … it’s amazing (he only raises the racism allegations when he is leaving) … he is corrupt … he is a nonplayer, that man,” said Maimane.
Standers was due to face an internal disciplinary hearing following complaints of poor leadership from the party’s caucus in the municipality. The party was also investigating him after he allegedly assaulted his wife over car keys earlier in 2016, although the criminal charges for the alleged assault have since been withdrawn.