Sizwe Mchunu, the former leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) in KwaZulu-Natal, is among a number of party members of the provincial legislature and councillors who have defected to the ANC in the run up to the May 8 national and provincial elections.
The move by Mchunu — a sitting DA KwaZulu-Natal MPL who headed the party in the province from 2009 to 2015 — was made public by the ANC at a media briefing in Durban on Wednesday.
Mchunu, who served on the DA’s national leadership for nearly a decade, defected to the ANC along with several DA councillors from the Msunduzi local municipality at Pietermaritzburg.
They include Claudelle Chetty-Naidoo, the DA councillor for Ward 28; Renesha Jugmohan, the Ward 30 councillor and Nalene Naidoo-Atwaru, a proportional representation councillor and the DA Msunduzi chief whip.
A sitting National Freedom Party (NFP) MPL, Njabulo Mlaba, also joined the group of defectors to the ANC. Mlaba, a former Umhlatuze District Municipality councillor who was elected as deputy provincial chairperson of the NFP in November 2017.
DA provincial leader Zwakele Mncwango said he wished the defectors luck on their departure.
Mncwango said they had all applied to be on the DA list for May 8 but had failed to make the cut. He said their departure would not hurt the DA.
“Our focus right now is to bring about change in our country. These are individuals, as opposed to the millions of South Africans who have seen what the ANC is all about. We believe that people will still vote DA,” he said.
“It is their right to leave. People have joined and left the DA for years, but the party is growing on a daily basis,” he added.