Cape Town – The walls are closing in for DA and Mayco member Xanthea Limberg who is being investigated by the party’s federal council over claims that she lied about her qualifications.
The DA’s federal council’s investigation on Limberg is close to completion.
Exactly a month ago today, the Weekend Argus broke the story that Limberg submitted a summarised CV that stated she had a degree in politics and public policy administration from UCT and a BA degree in policy studies from Unisa. The CV was submitted to the party’s provincial executive committee in January for her nomination as an executive member.
Further investigation by the Weekend Argus revealed that then-mayor Patricia de Lille had also in a speech announced that Limberg holds a degree from UCT.
De Lille handed Limberg her first Mayco member position in 2014.
Now the DA’s federal chairperson Helen Zille believes Limberg has a case to answer.
“I just need to explain first very carefully that the DA’s internal processes have two steps. The first step is an internal investigation. Following the initial investigation by the federal legal commission, the DA’s federal executive concluded that she does have a case to answer and a full hearing will be held,” she said.
Zille did not say when the full hearing would be held but a party insider said Limberg might be asked to step down on her roles where she represents the party.
“Helen is part of the people who are not happy with what happened to Bongi (Madikizela) and wants the same thing to be done on Xanthea,” said a source inside the party.
Bonginkosi Madikizela resigned from the provincial government where he was MEC and as the party leader following revelations that he lied about having a BCom degree.
Asked if she was aware of the looming hearing against her, Limberg said she was not able to comment while the matter is being investigated.
Limberg had previously maintained that the party had her full CV which states that she never completed her degree.
She also said she was unaware where the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) got the information that she had a degree as she did not provide it to them.
CPUT said they received information from the City of Cape Town where Limberg is a Mayco member.
Political analyst Asanda Ngoasheng believed the DA would give Limberg a harsh sanction.
“I think the DA is going to be hard on her. They have to be, in order to show consistency in dealing with cases of qualifications fraud. Bonginkosi has already had to go for his fraud so she may face expulsion from her position and party but if they are lenient to her she is likely to get a suspension, only and be asked to vacate her current position,” said Ngoasheng.
She added: “Xanthea is known to have had a relationship with JP Smith so it will be interesting to see how they deal with someone with close ties to influential members compared to other ordinary members. The DA wants to avoid being seen to be removing all leaders of colour so I doubt they will expel her.”