Johannesburg - A debit order is at the centre of a legal battle between the DA and a former member of the provincial legislature who was disqualified from returning to public office last year.
Dr Tutu Faleni, who represented the DA at the North West Legislature until the 2019 elections, is dragging the opposition party to the South Gauteng High Court.
He wants the court to rule that the DA’s decision to revoke his certificate of financial good standing was reached irregularly, and set it aside.
The certificate indicating that his monthly contributions were in order was revoked in January 2019, some three months before the general elections. The loss of his certificate saw him removed as the DA’s sixth candidate for the legislature.
Both Faleni and the DA agree in their court papers that he was removed over a debit order.
They clash on whether or not Faleni warranted being stripped of his fitness to return to the legislature.
Faleni was ordered by the party’s federal executive in December 2018 to implement a debit order after he missed two payments in that year. He was booted after it became apparent to the party that he had not heeded the order.
His December 2018 tithes, as the DA calls its member contributions, were also still outstanding.
But he maintains the DA failed to consider the facts indicating that a delay that was out of his hands had occurred.
“The (DA) did not grant me a certificate of good financial standing on the basis that I delayed in signing a debit or stop order timeously,” Faleni said in his affidavit.
“I submit that the reason for the delay was the processing of the debit order online.
“Between December 15 and January 3 2019 I contacted my bank manager, Fared Mohammed, to raise my concern but he informed me that it was not out of the ordinary that debit order online processing takes time to be executed.”
The DA said Faleni was notified repeatedly in January last year that he had fallen into arrears. He was sent several SMSes, it said.
“The applicant does not suggest that he did not receive these messages or understand the importance. Nor did he contact the DA to explain the position,” said the party’s affidavit.
“Instead he disregarded these notices and demands because he assumed that his debit order was in place.”
The party denied that his mitigating factors were not heard: “If he is now dissatisfied with the mitigating factors he chose to rely on in his appeal, the blame cannot be laid at the DA’s door.”
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