DA suspends MP for sexual misconduct

BY CHARL BOSCH - JUNE 10, 2015

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has reportedly suspended its Deputy Spokesperson in the National Assembly after finding him guilty of sexual conduct during a protest march in February.

According to The Cape Argus, Archibald Figlan forced a fellow staffer working at the party’s offices in Cape Town, to touch his private parts moments before the protest, arranged by the party ahead of President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address in the town’s CBD, was interrupted by police using water cannons.

In an affidavit submitted to the DA’s Federal Legal Commission (LOC), an unnamed co-worker stated that Figlan approached the woman after she failed to respond when he called her name.

“She told him she was busy with a picket and he grabbed her hand and put it on his private parts, saying, ‘picket here”, the co-worker said.

He was subsequently hauled before the commission in April and found to have contravened the party’s federal constitution.

DA Federal Chairperson, James Selfe, has stated that Figlan was allowed to keep his membership but only if he sticks to certain conditions which, according to the paper, includes a monthly donation of R1 000 to the National Institute for Crime Prevention and Re-integration of Offenders (NICRO) for a year, two-and-half hours community service over the same time, and apologise in writing to the woman.

His suspension comes just over a month after the circulation of an anonymous email in the run-up to the party’s elective conference in Port Elizabeth, claiming that leader Mmusi Maimane, Eastern Cape leader Athol Trollip, Chief Whip John Steenhuisen, CEO Paul Boughey and Shadow Minister of Communications, Gavin Davis, were having sexual relations with female party members in exchange for senior positions.

The matter was however described as a way of discrediting the party with DA Women’s Network interim leader, Denise Robinson, labelling the mail as absolute rubbish” and that anyone “with an axe to grind should do it properly [instead] of spreading rumours and allegations”.

“You are not just going to get into Parliament or even be a councillor, if you happen to sleep with somebody. People are not elected to office just because of their personal relationships,” she told the paper at the time.