Gwen Ngwenya has resigned as the DA's head of policy, but remains committed to serving as an MP. Picture: Twitter

Cape Town - The DA's head of policy Gwen Ngwenya has resigned less than a month before the launch of the party's elections manifesto ahead of the general elections.

The party's national spokesperson Solly Malatsi confirmed that she had tendered her resignation to DA leader Mmusi Maimane. 

"We thank Ms Ngwenya for the role she has played, she will now dedicate herself full time to her energy portfolio and bring considerable expertise to bear to her parliamentary work," Malatsi told the Cape Argus.

"Policy in the DA is developed through a variety of structures and highly skilled individuals, and this work will continue that will culminate in the launch of our election manifesto on 23 February. This manifesto which will give life to our vision of delivering change that will build One South Africa for All," Malatsi said. 

A copy of the resignation letter has been circulated online, and in it, Ngwenya makes some damning assertions.

Among the reasons given for her resignation from the position, Ngwenya listed operational causes and political causes.

"When I was approached to head up policy for the DA I was assured that the policy unit would have the support of the leadership, be semi-independent and would be there to provide unfettered advice based on research to the party. In addition, I would receive resources to fulfil the job, as well as the ability to recruit my own staff. None of these terms were partially, let alone wholly, fulfilled. Instead I was often hung out to dry in the face of unhappiness with policy within the party, there were untouchable policy areas, no budget was designated to the policy unit, and no additional staff could be hired. If these had been the terms presented to me from the onset there is every likelihood I would not have accepted the offer," she wrote.

In her conclusion, she wrote that there were many reasons besides the ones she had listed, but that the "bottom line is that I do not believe the DA takes policy seriously; and as a result, there has not been the operational or political resources necessary to result in a policy outcome I can be proud to be associated with".

She said there were "many good people", including Maimane, "fighting many fights every day, but ideas are not a battleground the DA likes to tread". 

Ngwenya said she would continue to offer her opinion and carry out her duties as a member of parliament. 


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Cape Argus