Former DA leader in the Western Cape Bonginkosi Madikizela stepped down both from the party’s leadership and in the provincial government.
Madikizela’s resignation did not come as a shock as the writing was on the wall apart from the resignation of Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo as the leader of DA Women’s Network.
His decision came almost two weeks after Premier Alan Winde suspended him as Transport and Public Works MEC pending an investigation into his qualifications.
The suspension came days after DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille announced that the allegations over his qualification were referred to the federal legal commission for investigation.
The qualifications scandal broke as Madikizela was one of the mayoral hopefuls in the City of Cape Town along with incumbent Dan Plato and MP Geordin Hill-Lewis.
Reacting to his resignation, Winde said he believed his decision under the circumstances was the right and honourable thing to do.
He showered him with praises for his hard work in the two portfolios he held in the provincial government.
“I wish to thank him for the valuable progress in our province over the years,” Winde said.
In a letter to Madikizela, DA leader John Steenhuisen reportedly said while he acknowledged his decision to quit both positions, he did so with “sincere sense of sadness”.
“I know that the recent few weeks have been particularly difficult for you personally and I cannot help but admire the fact that, as always, your foremost thought has been for the reputation of our party and our course,” he said.
The party’s response to his resignation was, as expected, different to what the outsiders had to say.
The DA’s critics were quick to point out that other DA leaders who faced accusations of lying about their qualifications were still in office.
Madikizela maintained that the saga had everything to do with the Cape Town mayorship contest.
“The idea of having someone they can’t control, or look after their interests, terrified them. This is what I go through every time I contest for a position in the party or in government.”
His approach of not taking the party head-on may have disappointed those who believed the scandal was part of shenanigans to give the DA to its rightful owners.
Madikizela quit at the time the party was already under immense pressure over the qualification of its Chief Whip Natasha Mazzone.
In his April 19 Facebook post, Madikizela gave an analogy of being on a ride and having to consider one’s actions if it was not to their satisfaction.
“You might be unhappy with the driver or some passengers, but think of all those passengers that have made it enjoyable, passengers who still have a long journey to travel with it,” he said.
“Who knows, you might be stranded one day and be rescued by the same ride. Never burn bridges, you might need them to cross on your way back,” Madikizela wrote at the time.
With Madikizela opting to call it, the obvious question is what his next move will be.
Judging from him being tight-lipped and not granting any media interviews, he is likely to keep many guessing on what his next move will be.
“I have a missed call from Adv Motlanthe, the SAFA CEO. Does anyone of you know what this call might be about? I did not apply for Bafana coaching job, are they head hunting?” he wrote on Friday.
It remains to be seen whether there is anything to read from his so-called missed call but time will tell if there is anything cooking or coming his way.