WATCH: From church pews to Parliament - meet the African Transformation Movement

2019-04-23 18:12
A man enters the rural town of Libode, which falls under the Nyandeni Local Municipality. (Lerato Sejake/News24)

Meet one of the new kids on the political block, the African Transformation Movement (ATM).

The newly formed party will be contesting the 2019 national elections on May 8 with 47 others. But who are they?

The ATM was established in October 2018 by the South African Council of Messianic Churches in Christ - one of the largest church bodies in the country representing churches like the Bantu Church of Christ and Twelve Apostles' Church in Christ.

The party's president is Vuyolwethu Zungula, who was "hand-picked" by the council to lead the party. The party recently made waves in the by-elections for Nyandeni Ward 21, situated in the Eastern Cape, drawing 30% of votes.

COLUMN: Keep an eye on ATM, the Purple Cows and GOOD

News24 visited the area and sat down with Phumzile Gabada, the party's regional chairperson of OR Tambo under which the Nyandeni Ward falls. 

Gabada said although the ATM is a new political party, it is growing because people identify with its core values.

"As ATM we are not promising anything. We are saying come, let’s build a nation together," he said. 

"That’s why we call ourselves servants. We are instructed by the people."

Gabada added that the party is a faith-based organisation and that by focusing on Christians they in turn address issues plaguing South Africa. 

"We believe Christianity is leading in South Africa. If we recruit Christians and addressing their problems, it means that we are addressing the problems of SA," he said.

The ATM endorses capital punishment (the death penalty) and its church members are opposed to abortion and gay rights.


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