CAPE TOWN - Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen says he’s heartsore by the expulsion of long-time political ally and friend, Member of Parliament Manny de Freitas.
But he said his party had to act against wrongdoers, even if they were long-serving party loyalists.
De Freitas, who had been an MP since 2009, was booted from the party following a forensic investigation into the opening of a bank account for political fundraising against party policy.
He served the DA in the Johannesburg South constituency for many years.
As an MP, he served on the home affairs, transport, and more recently the tourism committee.
He and DA leader John Steenhuisen had a political history dating back almost three decades, as part of the youth wing of the former Democratic Party.
"The reality is that I accept that even when your own associates are found wanting, you can’t make special deals for them; you can’t protect them in the way that President Ramaphosa protects the corrupt in his party, that you have to take the relevant action."
Meanwhile, De Freitas said he respected the decision taken by the DA’s federal legal commission to terminate his membership.
He said he never benefited personally from the money raised, and deposited into the illegal constituency bank account - and it was an oversight on his part for missing the deadline to close it.