UDM deputy president to join Holomisa in parliament

16 May 2019 - 20:43
By Andisiwe Makinana
UDM deputy president Nqabayomzi Kwankwa.
Image: Nqabayomzi Kwankwa via Twitter UDM deputy president Nqabayomzi Kwankwa.

It's confirmed: the United Democratic Movement's deputy president, Nqabayomzi Kwankwa, will be sworn in as an MP next Wednesday.

Kwankwa had initially missed out on a seat to the National Assembly as the party only managed to garner two seats in last week's elections.

Party president Bantu Holomisa will occupy the first seat and Lennox Gaehler was supposed to take the other. Gaehler topped the party's regional list of candidates for the National Assembly from the Eastern Cape and, according to the formula used to allocate seats, he would have taken the second seat.

But he resigned from the list on Wednesday, allowing Kwankwa to take his spot.

Kwankwa had been second on the party's list and would have been a shoo-in if the party received more than two seats.

The UDM dropped from the 1% of the votes it received in 2014, which gave them four seats, to 0.45% this time around.

Gaehler was the party's sole representative in the national council of provinces in the fifth parliament.

The legislature informed the UDM's secretary general, Bongani Msomi, on Thursday that Kwankwa's nomination as a member of the National Assembly, to fill the seat that became vacant due to Gaehler's unavailability, had been approved.

“I acknowledge receipt of your letters date May 15 and 16 requesting the supplementation of the UDM's depleted regional [Eastern Cape] list of candidates for the purposes of filling vacancies in the National Assembly,” reads the letter signed by the secretary of the National Assembly, Masibulele Xaso.

Xaso informed the UDM that Kwankwa would become a member of the National Assembly with effect from May 16 2019 and would be sworn in as a new member next week.

Kwankwa told TimesLIVE that he was ready to pursue a career elsewhere but that his UDM colleagues willingly pushed for him to return to parliament.