'DA no longer a conducive home for black members': Former Northern Cape leader joins ActionSA

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DA leader in the Northern Cape, Andrew Louw, has joined ActionSA.
DA leader in the Northern Cape, Andrew Louw, has joined ActionSA.
PHOTO: Charne Kemp
  • The DA has lost another black leader, with its former Norther Cape leader leaving for ActionSA.  
  • Louw had been placed on suspension for allegedly recruiting DA members for his now new home, ActionSA. 
  • Louw has denied these allegations saying it was the toxic environment within the DA that had forced him to leave. 

After 19 years as a member and almost 16 years as a DA leader in the Northern Cape, Andrew Louw switched allegiances on Thursday and joined ActionSA without tendering his resignation.

"Yes indeed, I have joined ActionSA," Louw told News24 on Friday morning. 

He said the decision was so sudden that he didn't even have a chance to tell the DA about his intention to leave.

"The moment any member of the DA joins another political party, then your membership ceases to exist with immediate effect; this is in the constitution of the party. So yesterday, after the DA had been making unsubstantiated allegations against me for many years that I was recruiting their party members for ActionSA, and that I was also planning on joining ActionSA, I finally lost it and just decided to give the DA something true to talk about. 

"So I can put it on record that on Thursday afternoon, I went online and I joined ActionSA. I am a fully-fledged member of ActionSA now," Louw said.

READ | Former ANCWL leader joins ActionSA, will head the party's structure in Mpumalanga

He cited allegedly unfair treatment of party members by the DA, on the basis of the colour of their skin, as part of what motivated him to leave.

Louw said:

I am sure that you will be aware that there is a trend now within the DA where black leaders and black supporters are leaving the DA for reasons best known to themselves, but most of the reasons are generic. The DA is no longer a conducive home for black members.

The party has always maintained that there is no truth to allegations that black leaders are leaving because of racism within the party.

Louw's decision comes after the DA suspended him for allegedly attempting to lure DA members to join rival party, ActionSA.

Louw, along with two other members — his wife Mariam Louw, and Grantham Steenkamp — were issued with suspension letters, pending an investigation into the allegations, the DA announced on Thursday.

DA spokesperson Cilliers Brink publicly stated that the DA issued letters to three Northern Cape members.

Brink said:

Andrew Louw, Mariam Louw, and Grantham Steenkamp have been suspended, pending an investigation into allegations that they sought to lure DA members to join rival political parties.

Louw was the party's leader in the Northern Cape for 11 years, between 2009 and 2020.

He told News24 that he hoped for a fresh start within ActionSA.

"For now, I am just an ordinary member of ActionSA, having joined only a day ago, but I am convinced that my goals of fighting for justice and equal opportunity for previously disadvantaged South Africans will be fulfilled as I work with my new party," he added.

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