Kimberley – A DA councillor has explained that a raunchy video of a naked woman that he had accidentally posted on the Sol Plaatje Municipality service delivery group was nothing more than an honest mistake.
The video was viewed by members of various political parties and councillors.
The councillor was instructed to remove the video from the WhatsApp group as it was considered to be “distasteful, disgraceful and degrading” towards women.
DA activists staged a picket in Florianville on Thursday to protest against gender-based violence and in outrage at the disrespect displayed to women.
“The incident that took place during Women’s Month is being swept under the carpet, where written complaints that were lodged by women in the party were brushed aside. The leadership has not taken any disciplinary steps against the councillor. It is a matter of what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas as the provincial leadership deemed it unnecessary to refer the matter to the DA federal legal council for investigation.”
They pointed out that the sharing of the video contravened the DA’s social media policy.
“If anyone else had done the same thing, we would be immediately dismissed for bringing the party into disrepute.
“The councillor should be suspended and removed from the list of candidates contesting to stand in the upcoming local government elections. He is a public representative and stands a good chance of being selected as a ward councillor. If the party does nothing about gender-based stereotypes and the exploitation of women, it means that they are defending and protecting it. We will request the Speaker to suspend him.”
The members added that selective treatment was being meted out, after another DA councillor was charged, disciplined, suspended and fined after he shared a meme on social media that was considered to have racial undertones.
“The porn-like video is a much more serious transgression. Six other councillors were suspended without dismissal letters or being charged. Some of them have been waiting for two years for an outcome from the federal legal council.”
The DA members called for the chairperson of the party’s federal legal council, Helen Zille, to pay a visit to Kimberley to “witness incidents of nepotism, preferential treatment of councillors and issues of gender equality in the Northern Cape”.
“If she does not come we will stage a sit-in at the provincial office. We decided to take to the streets to protest because the collective leadership does not take our concerns seriously.”
One of the activists stated that she received no assistance from the party after she reported a case of sexual harassment at her workplace.
The councillor who posted the video has meanwhile stated that he apologised in the council chambers as well as on social media groups.
“Both the Speaker and the DA accepted my apology. I was not aware of the content of the video that was attached to pictures that was forwarded to me of leaking sewage. The pictures and the video automatically downloaded onto my phone when it was sent to me from another group. There was also a photo of a missing child that was included in the batch of pictures that were sent to me,” the councillor explained.
He pointed out that the video was accidentally shared on an internal social media group.
“It was not posted on a public platform, such as Facebook. I immediately removed the video when I was alerted by another councillor. I was just as surprised at what it contained when I opened it. It was not intentional and I do not store images like that on my phone. Something like this can happen to anyone. It was genuinely an honest mistake.”
He added that he was inspecting sewage spillages in Homestead at the time of the incident, where he had taken video footage of the leak in Seochwareng and Otto streets.
“I posted the video along with the other images that were forwarded to me on to the Sol Plaatje service delivery group, so that it could be attended to.”
He believed that he was being targeted by opponents who were also contesting the ward councillor position.
“I will take them, as well as the so-called members who were picketing, to court for defamation of character.”
DA provincial chairperson Isak Fritz stated that they had taken note of the matter.
“The party is in the process of handling it. All matters are handled differently according to the unique circumstances surrounding each individual case,” said Fritz.