DA names legislature veteran Keeka as party’s chief whip

DA leader in KwaZulu-Natal Francois Rodgers, left, congratulates Dr Imran Keeka on his appointment as the party chief whip. | Supplied

DA leader in KwaZulu-Natal Francois Rodgers, left, congratulates Dr Imran Keeka on his appointment as the party chief whip. | Supplied

Published Jul 4, 2024


Durban — The DA in KwaZulu-Natal reappointed its veteran member of the legislature, Dr Imran Keeka, as chief whip of its 11-member legislature caucus.

In a statement, the party said the appointment was with immediate effect, describing Keeka as a seasoned politician and the man behind exposing KZN’s devastating oncology crisis several years ago who needed little introduction to the people of KZN.

“The DA has no doubt that with his vast community-based, council and legislature experience, coupled with a deep commitment to serve, Keeka will continue to play a significant role as chief whip. We look forward to his continued contribution to our caucus as we strive to make a difference in the lives of KZN’s people,” read the statement.

Keeka rose to prominence between 2014 and 2019 while he was the DA spokesperson on health matters and a member of the Health Department portfolio committee.

He was a thorn in the flesh of former health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo whom he accused of failing to address the oncology crisis in the public hospitals.

He took Dhlomo to court for the death of cancer patients which he argued would have been avoided had the MEC ensured there were adequate oncology machines which could have helped detect cancer in its early stages. To the surprise of many, after the 2019 general elections, he was moved to the education portfolio committee under former DA leader Zwakele Mncwango.

His appointment was expected to console the Indian community after complaining about the snubbing of Indians in the provincial legislature.

Born and bred in KZN, he and his family currently live in Newcastle where he first served as a DA PR councillor between 2011 and 2014, chairperson of the Amajuba Constituency from 2012 until 2014, and where he is the current DA constituency head.

Keeka first joined the DA KZN legislature caucus in 2014 as health spokesperson before becoming DA KZN spokesperson on education in 2019 where he has worked hard to find solutions to the province’s ailing education system.

He has also served as a dedicated committee member on KZN’s public participation and petitions (PPP) portfolio committee and quality of life (women, children and people with disabilities) standing committee, the latter position being held for the past eight years.

Keeka is also a current member of the DA KZN provincial executive committee, the DA federal council, re-elected to serve on the party's federal council and is a member of the provincial executive and provincial disciplinary committees. He also served on the party's technical task team established to form a working relationship between the DA and the IFP during the last term.

Despite being a medical doctor, Keeka holds a post-graduate qualification in African Studies and Public Policy. He is also a committee member of several local Muslim organisations, on education issues.

In 2012, he was elected to represent the profession of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture at the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa and has served on the executive committee.

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