The DA leadership bloodbath has claimed another high-profile leader in Manny de Freitas, or is that so? De Freitas secretly withdrew his name from the party’s election list and indicated that he would not be coming back as an MP, according to a resignation letter dated February 1.
Sunday World has been reliably informed that De Freitas’ departure came after the DA’s Federal Legal Commission found him guilty of misconduct and corruption. The charges were formulated following a complaint by former party member Tsepo Mhlongo. Mhlongo, a former City of Johannesburg DA councillor, was expelled last year.
Insiders, however, say the resignation letter was an act by the DA to pull wool on the face of the public.
It is understood that De Freitas wrote the resignation letter as strategic move to protect DA leader John Steenhuisen. Both politicians face allegations of being involved in a corrupt relationship that emanated from the time Steenhuisen was contesting for the party’s leadership position.
“Manny was expelled from the DA. But after being sent packing, he hatched the plan to write the resignation letter, and claimed that he had resigned. The fact of the matter is that he was expelled, and that letter is meant to mislead people,” said an insider within the highest decision-making body of the party.
In his lengthy letter of resignation, the politician, who served as a shadow minister of tourism, sang the praises of Helen Zille and Steenhuisen.
De Freitas had been with the party for 29 years, and he was known as Steenhuisen’s close ally.
Plan to hide resignation letter
He also begged DA leaders and members to keep his purported letter of resignation confidential and requested that it not be leaked to the media.
“This letter is an internal letter and intended only for internal communication. I request that this letter not be leaked to the media, irrespective of the type of media, whether it be established or social media. Leaks are counterproductive to our objectives,” said De Freitas.
An insider within the DA said: “Manny was instrumental in the rise of Steenhuisen, as he was using the party money to fund the election campaign of the now DA leader.
“Remember Tsepo Mhlongo, who was expelled from the DA last year and lifted the lid on the corrupt relationship that Steenhuisen had with Manny? That matter was swept under the rug by Zille and Steenhuisen after Mhlongo had complained to the party,” he said.
“Instead of investigating Manny, the DA went after Mhlongo and expelled him.”
Another senior leader claimed that De Freitas wanted to save face after he was sent packing and wrote that letter as if he had resigned at his own volition.
“He was charged with misconduct and corruption based on the complaint that Mhlongo laid. The complaint was against the election campaign of Steenhuisen when he was running to be the leader of the party. Manny was found guilty, and he was expelled. He is lying when he says he resigned.”
Mhlongo said: “I have seen this coming, and this also shows how the DA treated me when I was expelled from the party without an appeal regarding that so-called kitchen canvassing, which I did not do.
Not all animals are equal at DA
“As I said before, not all animals are equal. As a black politician, I was taken to task for nonsense. But Manny, who is white, defrauded the party by funding Steenhuisen’s election campaign, was allowed to lie. He claims to have resigned while he was fired.
“Why is the DA not issuing a statement that it has expelled Manny, who is white, but it is quick to tell the whole world when it expels black people? There are double standards in the DA, which is the big thing in the DA.
“Still, there is no fairness or justice in the DA. Those whites in that party will go the extra mile to protect each other. They get advice to write resignation letters after being fired, but when you are black, they will deal with you harshly and tell the whole world that you were expelled,” Mhlongo said.
De Freitas and the DA spokesperson, Solly Malatsi, did not respond to our questions.