The Patriotic Alliance (PA) in KwaZulu-Natal has counted another key losses after the regional treasurer of the UMgungundlovu region and, ward 31 chair in eThekwini region tendered their resignations following the party’s decision to expel its former premier candidate Bonginkosi Khanyile.
In a letter addressed to the party dated January 11, 2024, the chair of Ward 31 in the eThekwini region Msawenkosi Mzolo said: “I am writing this letter to express my disappointment and frustration with the recent events that led to the unfair dismissal of Bonginkosi Khanyile, your premier candidate.”
Mzolo stated that he believed the decision to dismiss Khanyile was unjust and unwarranted.
“As a political party, it is important to uphold the values of fairness and justice. However, the recent events surrounding Mr. Khanyile’s dismissal have shown that these values are not being upheld within your organisation. It is unacceptable to dismiss someone without proper cause or due process.
“Based on the above, I have come to a decision to withdraw my membership from the organisation with immediate effect,” read Mzolo’s letter.
In another separate letter of resignation dated January 6, 2024, UMgungundlovu Regional Treasurer Mjwara said that his decision to part ways with the party was based on the actions of the leader of the organisation.
“I feel that the decision was too harsh and proper procedure was not followed,” read Mjwara’s letter.
Party leaders Gayton McKenzie and Kenny Kunene are said to have taken a firm stand against Khanyile after having briefly accepted his apology for attending a rival political party event in Verulam this week.
The party decided to expel Khanyile after he took part in an Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) event addressed by former ANC president Jacob Zuma.
This comes after Zuma called Khanyile, who is reported to be a Zuma supporter, to the stage and encouraged him to join the MK party and leave the PA.
Zuma told those gathered there that Khanyile would soon be campaigning for the MK Party.
“I am telling you. We will be campaigning with him (Khanyile) next year. We will not leave him behind. He is the last line to our full freedom,” Zuma said while holding Khanyile’s hand on Tuesday.
The incident went viral on social media and there were suggestions that Khanyile had joined Zuma’s new party.
However, in a statement released by his former party, Khanyile said he had been in the vicinity of Verulam, had gone there in his personal capacity, and remained a member of the PA.
“I have noted since with grave concern how my pictures and videos at the event have been used on social media for propaganda purposes to create an impression that I have left PA to join MK.
“This is far from the truth as I remain loyal and disciplined of the PA. My long-standing association with former president Jacob Zuma is no secret and I still regard him as my father,” Khanyile said.
However, a few hours after the statement was accepted by the party, the PA decided to expel him.
At the time, PA deputy secretary-general Meshé Habana said the party had accepted Khanyile’s apology but the party leadership had decided to expel him.
“Khanyile’s appearance was used by PA detractors to suggest that the PA is affiliated with the MK party in some way and that Khanyile was endorsing the party, particularly because Khanyile was accompanied to the event by PA supporters wearing our party’s regalia.
“His actions have brought himself and the party into disrepute in a manner that unfortunately requires the firmest and most decisive of responses,” the party said.
Seven months ago, the Patriotic Alliance suffered another blow when its then-chair Rocky Clark resigned from the party to focus on his businesses.
Efforts to get a comment on the recent resignations from the PA were not successful as the party did not respond by the time of publication.