DA’s Mncwango vows to fight for diversity in Parliament

2018-02-05 13:48
New DA KZN leadership, provincial chairperson Francois Rodgers, provincial leader Zwakele mncwango and deputy provincial leader Mergan Chetty celebrate their victory in Durban on Saturday.

New DA KZN leadership, provincial chairperson Francois Rodgers, provincial leader Zwakele mncwango and deputy provincial leader Mergan Chetty celebrate their victory in Durban on Saturday. (Sabelo Nsele)

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A major shake-up of DA KZN representatives in the National Assembly is on the cards.

Many DA KZN MPs face the prospect of not returning to the National Assembly after next year’s elections as re-elected provincial leader, Zwakele Mncwango, intends to reconfigure the KZN team.

Accepting his victory during the highly contested provincial congress held in Durban on Saturday, Mncwango bemoaned the “lack of diversity” in the list of KZN MPs representing the DA in the National Assembly.

“Currently, I am not proud to say KZN has only one black African male in National Assembly. Only one ... this must come to an end. Come 2019, we will present diverse lists to the national [office] and to the province. We will truly have a diverse list in Parliament and at the provincial legislature. We will not compromise on that,” he said.

Mncwango beat his rival, Emmanuel Mhlongo. Although the DA did not make public the number of votes the two received after the 600 delegates had voted, sources told The Witness that Mncwango beat Mhlongo by a big margin.

Mncwango’s close allies, re-elected provincial deputy leader Mergan Chetty, newly-elected provincial chairperson Francois Rodgers and provincial deputy chairpersons Hlengiwe Shozi, Craig Millar and Shehana Kajee, all emerged victorious.

Mncwango pleaded with both camps to close ranks, saying there are no longer Mncwango and Mhlongo backers since the congress was over. “It was a robust engagement. I am not a winner, the DA is the winner. This team here will stand united. Our duty is to unite the province ... I want to discourage this tendency of individuals who want to sustain permanent factions. It must end,” he said.

Mncwango said their aim was to bring the ANC to below 50% in the province. He said they stood a chance as ANC leaders in the province “continue to fight among themselves”.

“Currently, they are leaderless. They are fighting for positions,” he said.

The Msunduzi constituency was crowned 2017 constituency of the year for its exploits in the two by-elections held last year, where they managed to retain two of the contested wards.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  da

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