ANC welcomes back DA member on verge of expulsion

2016-11-14 19:14

(Erin Bates)

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Durban – The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal on Monday welcomed two new Democratic Alliance members, including one that was on the verge of being expelled from the DA.

The ANC celebrated the defection of the DA's current Ward 32 councillor in Msunduzi municipality, Clive Otis Lots, and Ward 32 activist Merle Clayton Williams.

The two were paraded in front of the media on Monday at a press briefing addressed by the party's provincial secretary Super Zuma and deputy chairperson and Premier Willies Mchunu.

Zuma welcomed the pair, once members of the ANC, back home.

"The move [to come back to the ANC] by these leaders from the DA... is evidence that the DA hates black people but [is] happy to let white monopoly capital loot our country," said Zuma.

Mchunu said he hoped the pair would make a meaningful contribution from within the ANC.

'No place for coloureds in DA'

"All of us are in the ANC to make a contribution on behalf of the people of our province...we are not here for any selfish reasons and we understand that that is what has driven them to come home."

Williams said she left the DA to join the ANC because it was a non-racial organisation.

"There is no place for coloureds in the DA. There is no place for us and I believe we have a place in the ANC, that is why I am back home," she said. 

Lots agreed with Williams.

"Prior to the 2016 local government elections, I had been frustrated ... as a coloured candidate. In the Msunduzi Local Municipality there are 15 councillors and I am the only coloured representative of the DA and that does not reflect the demographics on the ground."

Lots claimed there were a handful of coloured councillors in the DA in the province.

"As far as I am concerned, there is no place for coloured people, I am doing this for my constituency, and I have been frustrated that is why I left the organisation."

By-election

When the media asked Lots if he had not left the party because he had been suspended he told the reporter, "I do not know what you are talking about."

KwaZulu-Natal DA leader Zwakele Mncwango said the DA noted and respected the decision made by the two members because it believed in democratic processes.

Mncwango said this would force the ward to go into a by-election because Lots was a sitting councillor.

"Clive was facing disciplinary action and he was supposed to appear before a disciplinary commission next Friday. He was facing three charges mainly around leaking party information and the breach of the social media policy.

"Ms Williams resigned around September. In her resignation she cited that she was not happy with not being elected as a ward candidate in Msunduzi and that is why she resigned."

Mncwango said it was not true that there was no room for growth for coloured candidates in the party.

"We are a diverse party, we are not a race-based party and we do not have a quota system. We are a party where in all caucuses you will find mixed races."

Mncwango said the allegations made by the two former party members were "unfortunate" but that as a party the DA "did the right thing".

Lots 'toxic'

According to Williams' resignation letter, she appeared disgruntled that she did not become a councillor for Ward 32.

Mncwango said losing the pair was not a big deal for the DA.

"Maybe they are big fish for the ANC but for us, it is not a big loss. We have been suspicious of Clive for some time now. In fact, he was on his way out, he knew that he was not going to win his case."

He claimed that Lots was working for the ANC while he was in the DA.

"It's good that he is now out, he has been toxic for the party."

Political analyst and CEO of the Mzala Nxumalo Centre Dr Bheki Mngomezulu said it was a weak political stunt for one party to accept members with tainted pasts.

"When you leave your party with a tainted past, you leave the party with a damaged image, those people were a liability to the party which they came from. If your image is tainted then it will affect the image of the party you are going to join," Mngomezulu said.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  politics

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