I haven’t joined DA, says Mervyn Dirks

2013-02-01 00:00

FORMER Msunduzi deputy mayor Mervyn Dirks is staying put in the ANC. Dirks yesterday scotched speculation that he was going to move to the Democratic Alliance, saying: “I have not joined the DA nor will I be joining the party.”

Community newspaper Galaxy reported that Dirks was to cross the floor. The report purportedly came from disgruntled party members who had leaked the story to put paid to negotiations to get Dirks to join the party.

It said councillors were not keen on accepting Dirks into the party given his links with the past council that had taken the city to the brink of bankruptcy.

The article went on to say: “It is however, alleged that one faction within the DA was keen to bring Dirks into the opposition party.”

It quoted northern suburbs DA members who were close to their councillors as saying that “Dirk’s enticement” was being spearheaded by Mergan Chetty, who had previously joined the DA from the ANC.

According to the article, the entire matter was being kept secret and there was to be a grand public announcement shortly.

A bemused Dirks questioned how an entire article could have been written about him without anyone contacting him. He said he was a loyal and disciplined member of the ANC and would remain so.

“I am also an active member of the ANC and I have not been cast aside. I want to assure those concerned DA councillors that I will not be joining their ranks, so they need not fear for their positions.”

According to the Galaxy article, the DA councillors were concerned about new members getting positions in the party while they were being left out.

Chetty was cited as an example of joining the party and moving straight into an Exco position.

KZN DA leader Sizwe Mchunu said he was not aware that Dirks was joining the DA.

Mchunu said it was incorrect that people join the party and get “parachuted” into positions.

He said Chetty became an Exco member because a majority in his caucus had voted for him to get the position. The DA did not place people into positions — party members voted, he said.

Mchunu believes the speculation may have come about because the DA was planning a big event in Woodlands on Thursday, February 7. He said the event was to be held because DA chairperson Wilmot James and the deputy provincial leader of the North West Province, Joe McGluwa, were visiting Pietermaritzburg on the day.

“We will be welcoming members of the ANC to the DA on the day, but no names are being mentioned at this stage.”

Asked if one of the people to be welcomed to the party could have been Dirks, Mchunu repeated that the party was not divulging any names at this stage.

Chetty, who has been let off council duties because of a leg injury sustained in the U.S., could not be reached for comment last night.

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