12/03/2014 A message at the doors of the IEC's offices in Centurion moments after closing their doors following the deadline for political parties to submit their candidate lists. Picture: Phill Magakoe

Johannesburg - The IEC’s deadline for parties to register their candidates for the National Assembly and provincial legislatures this week sparked defections across political lines.

The ANC’s list of 200 names for the National Assembly revealed three names from opposition benches as some MPs jumped ship.

DA MP Beverly Abrahams, who represented Gauteng in the National Council of Provinces, tendered her resignation in Parliament this week before appearing at number 118 on the ANC list.

Cope was perhaps the most affected by the defections, losing four MPs to its political rivals. Cope Youth Movement leader Nqaba Bhanga was among the first to jump ship, dumping the party to join the DA.

Bhanga is now one of the DA Eastern Cape’s candidates for Parliament, and will be in charge of a newly-formed constituency in the province. Bhanga said: “There is no capable opposition in this country that can take on the ANC except the Democratic Alliance. Helen Zille does not steal from the poor, but (President Jacob) Zuma has stolen R200 million from the poor.”

Cope MPs Leonard Ramatlakane, Juli Kilian and Nic Koornhof also appeared on the ANC list this week, resulting in a total of four MPs to leave the party.

Kilian yesterday told The Sunday Independent that she, Ramatlakane and Koornhof received a call from Luthuli House as late as Monday with an offer to join the ANC benches. The three were ready to leave Parliament as they had not accepted nomination on the Cope list.

She said the move to the ANC was not a drastic move.

“The policies are not that different, it is not like we are coming from the DA.”

Defections have also been taking place at local government level, especially in Gauteng where the ANC has been unveiling former DA members as its own.

Some of the notable names on the ANC lists include former Azapo president Itumeleng Mosala.

Former Cope member Washington Ntozini is also on the province’s list for Parliament.

Sunday Independent