ANC KZN secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli (left) with new members Claudelle Chetty-Naidoo (from DA), Njabulo Mlaba (from NFP), Renesha Jugmohan (from DA), Nalene Naido-Atwaru (from DA) and Sizwe Mchunu (from DA). Picture: Zanele Zulu/African News Agency(ANA)

Sizwe Mchunu was the DA’s provincial leader in KZN for six years, but to the surprise of many he was announced as a new member of the governing ANC.

Samkelo Mtshali asked him to shed light on this new chapter in his political career.

What is the reason behind you leaving the DA, were you pushed?

A: No, I was not. I leave the DA with a clean state of mind and heart. I have no broken relationships with anybody within the DA, I have no doubt that had there been anything sinister, they would have divulged it to the media. The simple reason is that I decided to join and take an active role in politics because I wanted to be of help to the people of South Africa. I’ve come to realise that for South Africa to grow, the ANC needs to grow stronger.

When did you decide your time with the DA had come to an end?

A: It was not just an overnight decision. I took the decision that I was leaving a while ago; and the second part to that decision was to then say, what next? Do I just go fold my arms or do I actually do something else? It came to my senses that I had to associate myself with the ANC, particularly because of the direction that the ANC is taking now, a direction which is articulated very clearly by President Cyril Ramaphosa, of putting the people of South Africa first.

How was your relationship with the incumbent provincial leader of the DA, Zwakele Mncwango?

A: My relationship with him is a normal working relationship, like any other member of the DA.

What do you say to suggestions that your power in the party was on the wane, given the outcome of the 2015 provincial congress?

A: The DA was well aware, I indicated to them in January 2016, that I had no intentions to stand for elections to any position within the party, but also, that I was not going to make myself available to stand for re-election to the legislature.

The DA is trying to change the perception it is white, male-dominated but is this the case?

A: I’m not in the business of bashing and criticising the DA. I have left the DA.

Your name does not appear on the ANC’s province list. What were some of the promises made to you if you joined the ANC?

A: There were no promises. It was a voluntary decision to join the ANC and I have not been offered a position or anything.

You are not the first black leader to leave the DA, we’ve seen it with Lindiwe Mazibuko. Is there a space in the DA for a discussion on its demographic set-up when it comes to key leadership roles?

A: I am not the DA spokesperson and I have no intentions to speak on behalf of the DA. The ANC is the most diverse party in this country and I am proud to associate myself with the party.

Sunday Tribune