Durban - THE DA’s provincial leader in KwaZulu-Natal said a senior party leader Sizwe Mchunu had the right to join the ANC if he so wished.
Zwakele Mncwango, the current DA KZN leader and the party’s premier candidate for KZN, said his predecessor’s new marriage with the ANC would not stand in the way of the DA’s efforts to win the province during the May 8 general elections.
Mncwango also revealed Mchunu had not submitted a resignation letter from the party, but clarified that since he had publicly joined the ANC, his membership would be terminated immediately in accordance with the DA’s constitution.
Mncwango and Mchunu have enjoyed a tumultous relationship ever since the two squared off for the leadership of the party in the province years ago.
In 2016, Mchunu was demoted from his position as the DA’s Caucus leader in the KZN Legislature when he “voluntarily” stepped down, to become an ordinary MPL.
He had admitted he was not “100% happy” with the direction the DA was taking under Mcwango’s leadership.
When asked if Mchunu’s departure to the ruling party did not hurt the DA, Mncwango said: “When you are a member of the DA, you do not join the DA with a title, you remain a member of the party. The individual in this case has joined the ANC, not the title”.
Mncwango said the DA would continue to campaign ahead of the elections and would not allow themselves to be distracted.
He said the DA respected people’s right to join whichever political party they wished to.
“I think we are in 25 years of democracy, this is part of what we fought for - for people to have the freedom to join any political party. We have to always defend those values of democracy,” said Mncwango.
“As the DA we are still maintaining we are the only party that can create a South Africa for all to create jobs and grow economy,” he said.
The ANC was pleased with Mchunu’s capture, in a statement sent by the party, heralding his achievement of growing the DA in KZN from just seven seats, to becoming the official opposition at the last general elections in 2014.
“Joining the leader of the National Democratic Revolution this morning is comrade Sizwe Mchunu, who is the current member of KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Legislature and the first African provincial leader of the DA between the period from 2009 to 2015. It was under his able leadership that the DA grew from a mere seven seats to an official opposition in the KZN provincial legislature,” the ANC said.
The ANC said Mchunu was the longest serving black African public representative in the country and had served in the DA’s Federal Executive for more than a decade.