ANC councillor Mergan Chetty defects to DA ahead of local poll

2011-03-23 00:00

ANC’s ward 30 councillor in the Msunduzi Municipality, Mergan Chetty, has defected to the Democratic Alliance.

He is one of three people who were welcomed as new DA members yesterday.

Chetty, with United Democratic Movement (UDM) councillor in the Mzimkhulu Municipality, Vuyani Zaza, and former ANC Women’s League treasurer in the Sisonke region, Trish Crawley, have joined the DA’s candidate nominees ahead of the May 18 local government elections.

Welcoming the defectors, the DA leader in the province and its mayoral candidate for Msunduzi Municipality, Sizwe Mchunu, said the party has received many applications from people serving in other political parties wanting to join the DA.

He claimed that the applications were from councillors and activists.

Some applications were rejected after intensive interviews to scrutinise whether the applicants share the DA’s vision, he said.

Mchunu emphasised that the new members introduced yesterday were not offered any financial inducement to join the DA, adding that they want to be part of the vehicle that would bring about good governance.

The DA leader said Chetty had his ANC councillor candidacy confirmed before joining his new party.

Chetty said: “There comes a time when a few good men need to stand up and speak out knowing that the greatest critics are the very same individuals who have entertained the thought of doing what I am [doing], but failed to have the courage of their convictions to say it aloud for fear of victimisation.”

With regard to the Msunduzi Municipality, said Chetty, one needs to accept that it was under ANC councillors’ watch that it was placed under administration.

He said that for the city to have been placed under administration was an embarrassment that all have to acknowledge.

“The destructive directives as opposed to constructive debates upon which decisions were made proved to be very detrimental.

“The transfer of funds in excess of R100 million for the roads project against much opposition, still went ahead, as did the R240 million metre reading contract.

“Sadly, when the flawed rates valuation roll was brought to the fore, the ANC failed to exercise its majority …,” said Chetty.

Zaza and Crawley vowed to serve the DA diligently.

ANC provincial spokesperson Dr Makhosi Khoza commented, “We live in a democracy and all the ANC defectors to the DA have a choice to do so.”

She said the ANC has also welcomed members from other political parties.

Who is Mergan Chetty?

MERGAN Chetty is the son of political activist Pops Chetty, who was active in the struggle through sports. He used to own the Taj Mahal Hotel in Raisethorpe where ANC meetings used to be held secretly. Mergan said he was in standard two when his father went into exile in Lusaka. He grew up in politics and has had a number of roles in ANC branch politics. He became the ward 30 councillor in 2006.

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