I was a project for the DA, says Cape Town FF Plus mayor hopeful Lennit Max
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Lennit Max says after years of serving the DA, he learned that he was a “project” to the party, and was later managed in a “political graveyard”.
Max has been named the Freedom Front Plus’s mayoral candidate for Cape Town.
This announcement was made on Wednesday during a briefing at Parliament.
Max has been around the block for years, having served as provincial police commissioner between 1999 and 2003. He then moved on to become the Western Cape leader of the Independent Democrats (ID), after leaving his role as police commissioner.
He was elected to the Western Cape provincial legislature in 2004.
Max’s tenure within the ID ended in 2005, after the party found that he had breached its membership code of conduct.
Following his expulsion from the party, he moved to join the DA.
In 2009, former premier Helen Zille appointed Max as MEC for community safety.
The following year, Max moved on to become a member of the National Assembly as DA MP and the party’s deputy spokesperson on correctional services.
He was appointed as an advisor to the Minister of Police Bheki Cele in June 2018. He resigned as MPL in July 2018 and remained a DA member until December 2018, when he terminated his membership.
He then joined the ANC.
During an interview with Independent Media on Wednesday afternoon, Max, who has joined a third political party, reflected on his journey in politics and provided a robust view on challenges he faced within the DA.
“When I joined the DA in 2005, I was a fresh breed. The party only had 12 MPLs in the provincial legislature. They needed the coloured votes and the coloured voters were in support of the ID. I was deployed as a project to attract coloured voters to the DA.
“I worked very hard during my tenure at the DA, then we came into power.
“I’ve learned that once you disagree with the leadership of the DA then as you know, the DA will use their power to marginalise you and push you out and rephrase you into a particular section so you become irrelevant and not visible. They manage you in a political graveyard.
“Given the fact that I am a police general, and I was the provincial commissioner of the Western Cape, I was not afforded the opportunity to serve the people with my knowledge, skill and capacity,” Max said.
In 2018, Max said the ANC invited him to be the special adviser to Police Minister Bheki Cele. Bearing in mind that he was still a DA member, he grabbed the opportunity with “both hands” as he said he was afforded an opportunity to share in his expertise.
“Once there, former Western Cape DA leader Bonginkosi Madikizela demanded that I resign from the DA because, according to him, it was not good for me to serve an ANC government with a DA membership.
“I had to resign and I joined the ANC as a member… that was just a membership of the association because I worked with the ANC government. This move was also to eradicate suspicion that I might be regarded as an agent.
“On 7 July this year, I resigned from the ANC because of the unruliness, ill-discipline of the people, and how they violated Covid-19 regulations,” Max said.
In his tenure as advisor to Cele, Max said he was able to add value by the introduction of the Anti-Gang Unit (AGU). “The Anti-Gang Unit, which was my brainchild, was formed. That shows to you that when I assisted in the ANC, it was to add value and not for a position. All I wanted was to add value to the lives and safety of the people. The AGU was launched in the Western Cape and now it’s being implemented countrywide.”
Max added: “Once I realise that the political party which I serve prevents me from rendering a service to the people and I’m being put on the backburner and an opportunity arises for me to make a contribution to the people… I grab that opportunity.
“When I had the discussion with the FF Plus, I told them if they allow me to use my skill to serve the people, I will join them. They informed me that their only agenda is to serve the people.”
Max said his nomination as mayor is proof that the FF Plus wants to “put me in the frontline, use my skill and managerial experience to serve the people of Cape Town.”