Former KZN DA leader Sizwe Mchunu crosses to ANC

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal, which is led by Sihle Zikalala, has welcomed former DA leader Sizwe Mchunu after he crossed the floor.
The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal, which is led by Sihle Zikalala, has welcomed former DA leader Sizwe Mchunu after he crossed the floor.
Image: THULI DLAMINI

Former DA leader in KwaZulu-Natal Sizwe Mchunu has crossed the floor‚ shedding the blue of the DA to don the ANC's green‚ black and gold.

Mchunu‚ who served as the DA leader in the province from 2009 to 2015‚ was unveiled by ANC provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli during a media briefing in Durban on Wednesday — just 55 days before the May 8 general elections.

He was joined by former DA councillors in the Msunduzi municipality in Pietermaritzburg Claudelle Chetty-Naidoo‚ Renesha Jugmohan and Nalene Naidoo-Atwaru‚ as well as former NFP councillor in the Umhlathuze municipality in Richards Bay Njabulo Mlaba.

Mchunu and the former DA members also brought with them their DA T-shirts which Ntuli said he would keep in his office until they were fetched by the DA leadership.

The former DA leader said he joined the ANC because he had realised that it was now time to rebuild SA and he wanted to associate himself with "the machinery that is there to save SA".

“And if really anybody has a passion of serving SA and make SA work‚ it’s about then associating yourself with the machinery that is there to save SA. The ANC has today‚ obviously under the leadership of Cyril Ramaphosa and a whole lot of other presidents before him‚ has proved beyond reasonable doubt that they are committed to saving SA‚" he said.

Mchunu added that he had not yet resigned from the DA "but today marks the end of any relationship between myself and the DA. But in the same breath today marks a journey of me and the ANC. So whilst I close a chapter with the DA‚ I'm excited and thrilled that today I assume new duties as a volunteer and activist of the ANC".

He denied he had abandoned the DA because of a frosty relationship with the current DA leader and premier candidate Zwakele Mncwango. The two leaders are believed to have not seen eye to eye since Mncwango was elected as the DA provincial leader in April 2015 after narrowly defeating Mchunu for the highly contested post.

Mchunu said: "I do not have a bad relationship with anybody. I have been a leader in the DA in my own right. I obviously had to create space for everybody to show their true potential and ability to perform in a space that they are elected to serve on.

"But I'm very proud of the decision I have taken and it's for no other reason other than my view and what I think is right for the people of KwaZulu-Natal and ultimately SA."

He also revealed that he was approached by the ANC to join them more than five years ago.

Mncwango said: "Look‚ it's important to take note of the fact we are now in 25 years of democracy and part of the important values of that is freedom of association. When an individual exercises the very same right we were fighting for‚ and decides to join another party‚ we must always welcome and accept that it's their right to do so.

Ntuli described the acquisition of the new members as "quite very profound not only because the ANC is going to the elections".

"One of the strategic tasks of the ANC is to ensure that we organise all South Africans behind‚ firstly‚ the vision of the ANC and‚ secondly‚ to join the ANC. As members of the ANC we're all organisers and the twin task of organising entails that we must ensure that the overwhelming majority of our people in this country support and work behind the vision of the ANC which is to build a united‚ non-racial‚ non-sexist‚ democratic and prosperous SA."

He praised Mchunu for his "able leadership" in that he grew the DA from seven seats to an official opposition in the KZN legislature.

"He is also the longest-serving African public representative of the DA in the entire country. He also served for more than 10 years in the DA national executive committee‚" said Ntuli.

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