Former Eastern Cape ANC MEC Thandiswa Marawu has left the governing party to join ATM. Photo via Facebook.

EAST LONDON -  Former Eastern Cape ANC MEC Thandiswa Marawu has said that factional battles within the ruling party forced her to leave the organisation and join the newly formed African Transformation Movement (ATM). 

Marawu was unveiled as an ATM member by Eastern Cape chairwoman and premier candidate, Veliswa Mvenya, in Butterworth on Monday.

"I am a Christian and I believe in peace, mercy and unconditional love, but I don't find those values in the ANC. When the ATM was launched I felt like I discovered a kind of political home I've been longing for because it upholds the kind of values that I hold," said Marawu. 

When asked by African News Agency (ANA) if she was leaving because she did not feature prominently on the ANC party list, Marawu said: "I was going to leave even if I was on the top of the list because of what's going on in the ANC right now."

"We will go to a party conference and emerge as sworn enemies because you are not part of the winning group, yet we keep saying it's our party."

Marawu served as provincial treasurer for two terms, from 2009 to 2017. She was voted out while she was contesting for the third term during the controversial provincial congress in 2017. She was the executive mayor of Joe Gqabi District when she was elected to the ANC provincial executive and was later redeployed to provincial cabinet where she served as MEC for roads, transport and public works until she was reshuffled last year. 

Mvenya said ATM was pleased to attract people of Marawu's calibre. 

"Being able to attract prominent people like her shows that we are on the right track. It's the calibre of people like her, who are in leadership, who are showing that we are a political force because she chose ATM when she could have joined any other party," said Mvenya. 

Marawu is the second high profile ANC member in the Eastern Cape to join ATM in recent weeks. 

Last month, Dr. Zukile Luyenge - who served as an ANC MP in the National Assembly - also resigned to join ATM. 

At least four former DA PR councillors loyal to Mvenya from four different local municipalities resigned to join ATM. The councillors were  from Matatiele, Nyandeni, Mhlontlo and Mnquma. 

ANC provincial secretary Lulama Ngcukaitobi said Marawu had not mentioned the same reasons that she gave ANA in her resignation letter.

"We have accepted her resignation and her reasons; the ones you are talking about are not in her letter. It would have been wise for her to move on and not bad mouth the organisation she called 'my political home' in a letter she wrote to us," said Ngcukaitobi. 

African News Agency (ANA)