/ 28 March 2019

Vytjie to put her cross next to the cross

Vytjie Mentor
Mentor says she’s not been promised a seat in the National Assembly and joins the party as a volunteer. (David Harrison/M&G)

Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor says she does not expect a seat in the National Assembly with her new political home, the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP).

Mentor was introduced by the party’s leader Reverend Kenneth Meshoe at Parliament on Thursday.

The former anti-apartheid activist and whistle-blower who has testified at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture, says for her the time for talk and fighting is over, and now wants to get to work and serve.

“Today is the day I join the ACDP, and I’ll work hard not only to bring people to vote for the party but to bring people in to join. South Africa deserves better. And ACDP is the way to go. Let’s put God first,” said Mentor.

Mentor says it’s her Christian faith that attracted her to the party, after becoming disenchanted with the ANC.

“I chose the ACDP as our country needs God and godliness for it to become one of the most peaceful countries in the world… I gave up on the ANC in 2017, but it was not an overnight decision,” Mentor said.

She says she’s not been promised a seat in the National Assembly and joins the party as a volunteer.

“I’ll be recruiting for the ACDP and getting people to vote and join the party. For me, it’s not about the (election candidate) list. My role is in growing the party,” she said.

But party leader Meshoe clarified that while the IEC’s election candidate list process is closed, when it opens again after the elections Mentor will be added but was not specific as to where on the list she would appear.

Meshoe paid tribute to Mentor’s fight against corruption, describing her as the perfect party member to serve the people.

“She has shown tremendous courage in talking out against corruption and state capture in the ANC. The ACDP strives to have leaders of integrity. And Mentor shows she exemplifies these qualities,” Meshoe said.

The ACDP says the new dawn of the ANC has “faded into the mist” and that South Africa needs change.

The party’s national elections manager Grant Haskin says the party is confident of its chances at the polls.

“We’ve never been as prepared for an election as we are now. We are ready to take over as the government of South Africa, and the provinces of the country,” Haskin said.

On the Democratic Alliance’s claims to voters that a vote for a smaller party is a wasted vote, the ACDP says the official opposition is running scared.

“The DA must seize their arrogance. If they don’t do that? Well, “hulle is nie skoon nie” (they are not clean). We know their stuff,” Meshoe said.

Meshoe’s call to voters is that it’s time to give a faith-centred political party a chance.

“The country is in a mess. And change is needed desperately. For us to be prosperous, we can’t have more of the same. We have tried politics that excludes God. We’re saying let us try a politics that includes God,” he said.