Jack not ditching his movement for Maimane’s party

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Mkhuseli 'Khusta’ Jack. Photo: File
Mkhuseli 'Khusta’ Jack. Photo: File


Mkhuseli “Khusta” Jack will remain at the helm of his party Abantu Integrity Movement (AIM) until he hands over the reins to a younger leader “in the future”.

Jack formed AIM ahead of last year’s local government elections. He was the mayoral candidate for the party in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro in Gqeberha, in the Eastern Cape, but it did not get him enough votes to wear the mayoral chain.

However, AIM got enough votes to get him into the council. Under the ANC-led administration in the council, he was a member of the mayoral committee for economic development.

READ: Mkhuseli ‘Khusta’ Jack is AIMing high

But, a few weeks ago, when the ANC was toppled by the DA, he was elected deputy mayor. Two weeks ago, he was unveiled as the chairperson of Mmusi Maimane’s new political party, Build SA (Bosa), at its launch in Naledi, Soweto.

In an interview with City Press this week, Jack said AIM was “out of its league” to become a national political party, and it was now an affiliate of Bosa. “AIM is a local party that will contest elections in Nelson Mandela Bay. It was never meant to be anything bigger. It will continue contesting elections in Nelson Mandela Bay in years to come, but it is not going to contest nationally.”

Going into the local government elections last year, some independent candidates and community movements united under the One SA Movement – an organisation that Maimane had formed after he left the DA.

Because Parliament has yet to pass the law that would allow the independent candidates to contest national elections, Maimane formed Bosa to take part in the 2024 polls.

And it is through Bosa that the independent candidates will unite to contest the 2024 elections, with Maimane as the face of the party.

Jack told City Press that, at a national level, the interests of AIM would be carried by Bosa. From the onset, AIM had wanted to affiliate with “like-minded organisations” and the party had found that in Bosa.

Jack said: 

We had that in mind when we formed the party. We knew that we would reach a stage where we would have to form what we call a united front ... the same as the United Democratic Front back then, because the crisis that we are facing now is extraordinary.

“And that is the collapse of the country at the hands of the ANC, where we are about to lose everything.

“To change that, we need to step forward and try to do something to stop it.”

Jack, an anti-apartheid activist and a former member of the ANC, said that, after the governing party’s 2007 Polokwane conference, which he called a “disappointment”, it had been his wish that someone build an organisation that would work towards “ousting the ANC”.

This is because he did not, and still does not, see the ANC getting any better; instead, it was getting worse.

Jack said he had closely followed Maimane’s political career and was impressed by his commitment to bettering South Africa.

When Maimane left the DA in 2019, Jack said he engaged with him, but at that time they were both too busy with their “own things” to have meaningful discussions.

READ: Maimane returns to politics with Bosa

It was not until last year that they began talks on how they could work together.

Those talks led to him becoming part of the Bosa leadership. Jack said Maimane had the right character of a leader to change South Africa for the better.

Jack said if Bosa got enough votes to go to Parliament in the 2024 elections, and was elected to go, he would.

However, his heart was in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro and he enjoyed his work in the council and would rather remain there.

He also told City Press that people of the metro would soon see changes in service delivery under the new leadership in that municipality where he was the new deputy mayor.

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