Patriotic Alliance founder says criminal record should not affect voters

01 December 2013 - 16:03 By Sapa

Patriotic Alliance founder Gayton McKenzie has said his criminal past should not affect voters because they're not voting for the pope, according to a report on Sunday.

"Listen, we're not choosing the pope here, we're choosing a politician," McKenzie was quoted as saying by the City Press.

McKenzie - who is a convicted bank robber - launched the Patriotic Alliance political party along with former jail mate and businessman Kenny Kunene towards the end of last month.

McKenzie said the party was inclusive but, in particular, he wanted to help uplift coloured people. "There's one thing that coloured areas have in common all over the country: an acute absence of hope."

The motto for the new political party is "For our children".

City Press quoted McKenzie as telling attendants at a rally: "Ons is arm maar ons is nie gevrek nie...Ons is gatvol" [We are poor but we are still alive... We have had enough].

The Sunday Independent reported that a police major-general, Jeremy Vearey, who is responsible for policing gangsterism in the Western Cape, said the Patriotic Alliance was led by members of the 26s gang.

He said a breakaway party - the Progressive Alliance - was led by leaders of the 28s gang.

However, the leader of the Progressive Alliance, Ivan Waldeck, told the newspaper that he was "reformed".

Waldeck told the Sunday Independent that he had "been used" by McKenzie and therefore formed his own party - of which recently-paroled gang leader Rashied Staggie was a member.