Melika Singh Picture: Zanele Zulu/ African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - A former DA councillor has complained about racism within the country’s official opposition party, whose leader, Mmusi Maimane, recently resigned due to internal differences.

Former DA ward councillor in Msunduzi, Melika Singh, was among a group of DA members who were on Thursday introduced as new ANC members. She said racism was alive and rife within the DA.

“This matter has been ongoing as it’s been raised through many structures within the party. I even wrote to former federal leader Mmusi himself to make him aware of what was happening in the Msunduzi constituency, and to suggest to him that the constituency should be placed under political administration because of the abuse of power and racism,” said the former DA chief whip in Msunduzi.

However, DA provincial leader Zwakele Mncwango denied that race was an issue within the DA.

“Currently, the DA need to have a robust discussion on where we differ as a party, but it’s not a race question. It’s a question of ideas that we are actually confronting ourselves with.

“I’ve received calls not only from black members, as there are even white members who are threatening to resign because they aren’t happy with the outcome of that election (of Zille),” said Mncwango.

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday invited the media to its provincial offices in Durban to introduce more than 10 former DA leaders at branch, regional and provincial level as its new members.

The defection came while their former political home was facing challenges with the resignation of its senior leaders, including Maimane, Athol Trollip and former Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba this week.

Their exit was linked to the election of Helen Zille as the party’s new federal council chairperson. According to ANC provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli, other defectors included provincial leaders of the DA youth wing and former branch chairpersons.

However, Ntuli was quick to deny that the latest developments in the DA nationally had influenced DA leaders to jump ship. He said the ANC was on its own mission to convince many South Africans to join the party.

“It has nothing to do with Helen Zille. Comrade Sazi (Msani) joined the ANC in March this year, and it was unknown to him and all of us that at some point a retired somebody (Zille) would go back to the DA,” said Ntuli.

However, he added that as a result of the developments in the DA, he had been informed of certain people who wanted to join the governing party.

Former DA provincial leader Sizwe Mchunu said since he joined the ANC in March a large number of DA councillors had followed him.

Political Bureau