A member of parliament for the Al Jama-ah Party says he was kicked out of his seat in the national assembly because he refused to hand over R36 000 of his salary to the party.
Ishak de Jager, 55, says of the gross salary of R95 000 he earns, he only takes home R14 000.
He says while all members have agreed to give 50 percent of their earnings to the party to ensure its growth and stability, he was kicked out after he complained about the massive deductions.
De Jager’s face was on election posters last year. He says he used the inheritance he got from his deceased mother to campaign for the party “from Beaufort-West to Knysna”.
De Jager says that party leader Ganief Hendricks did inform him of the deduction when he was asked to run for office, but he thought it was simply a test to gauge his loyalty and commitment.
“From the beginning, we were told that half our salaries would be taken to support the party.
“I did not think it was real until I received my payslip,” he says.
“They deduct R44 000 from the gross salary of R95 000 I am supposed to earn every month.
“My nett salary is R50 000. The party then debits my account with R36 000.
“I am then left with about R14 000.
“Hendricks has made no secret about this matter and as Muslims we want the party to grow, but I asked too many questions and was called to say I was no longer a member of the national assembly,” De Jager said.
This means he was in office for only five months following the national elections in May.
“I ran the office with no staff for three months. I joined 11 portfolios because I believed in the vision and mission statement of the party,” says De Jager.
“The moment that did not include my earnings, he cut me off and replaced me with another man. It is sad and I really wish them the best, but Ganief needs to be transparent.
“He has misled voters.”
Al Jama-ah was started by Hendricks along with his brother Achmat 12 years ago.
But party secretary general Faried Achmat says members can’t complain because the deduction is a clause in their contracts which they willingly signed.
He claims De Jager was fired because he was incompetent.
“Mr De Jager did not do his job and we decided it was not in the interest of the party to keep him in office,” he says.
“We have, on numerous occasions, asked him to come and sit with us to discuss the matters he raised that concerned him.
“The donation he gives to the party of 50% was signed in his contract. He agreed to this and we advise him to contact our attorneys.”