Ex-ANC mayor joined DA for ‘financial considerations’ – ANC

2013-11-05 10:51

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The ANC in Mpumalanga says it is “regrettable” to lose a former mayor to the DA but insists the defection does not reflect disillusionment within the party.

Richard Lukhele, the former mayor of Umjindi municipality in Barberton, left the ANC to join the DA last week.

Lukhele served two terms as mayor and was also the ANC Ehlanzeni region’s treasurer before Premier David Mabuza’s camp swept all regional and provincial executive committee positions in 2011 and last year.

While treasurer in 2011, Lukhele complained to then ANC treasurer-general Mathews Phosa that Ehlanzeni secretary Pat Ngomane had taken control of the party’s finances and left him redundant.

At that time, Phosa confirmed he would investigate misappropriation of about R7 million of the party’s funds but nothing came of it.

Mpumalanga ANC spokesperson Siphosezwe Masango said: “It’s always regrettable to see someone who was a senior deployee crossing the floor to join a party like the DA, which is symmetrically opposed to the transformation we want to bring. He’s joining a party that wants to protect white privilege.

“However, we’re a democratic state and people are free to join a party of their choice. I suspect what has influenced him is financial considerations (the hope of getting a paying position). In a period before elections we’ll see a lot of re-alignment where people feel that new is better. In previous elections there was United Democratic Movement (UDM), Congress of the People (Cope) and now it’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and Agang. The same thing will happen in 2019,” he added.

Lukhele was not available on his cellphone to comment, but DA provincial leader Anthony Benadie said he brought 19 years of public service experience to the party.

“Lukhele’s decision to join the DA comes after more than two years of introspection and a critical evaluation of the ANC, and what it has become under the leadership of president Jacob Zuma and Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza.

“His conclusion that ANC members and public office bearers serve at the pleasure of the ruling clique at the expense of those who voted them into power, is a damning indictment of what the ANC has become,” Benadie said.

“As it is in the rest of South Africa, governance and politics have reached a tipping point in Mpumalanga, and the DA believes that Mr Lukhele’s brave decision to join our ranks will encourage others, who share his disillusionment with the ANC, to change their political home,” he added.

Masango said the fact that the ANC had recently lost former Thaba Chweu (Lydenburg) council chief whip, Paul Mogotsenyana, to the EFF in September did not mean that infighting was forcing party members to leave.

Mogotsenyana said he resigned for the second time as ANC councillor over “too much corruption” in the ailing municipality.

Masango said there was not much to read into the fact that the ANC has lost wards after by-elections to the DA and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) over the past two years.

The ANC lost Graskop in Thaba Chweu to the DA in 2011. It had controlled that ward since 1994.

Early this year, it lost a ward in Mayflower to the IFP. That position became vacant after Mabuza fired an ANC councillor following service delivery protests.

“We’ll of course be worried when we lose a ward where we’ve been in control. It means we need to do introspection and some analysis,” said Masango.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.