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Zwakele Mncwango begs DA in KZN to stand by leader it picks to replace him

27 March 2021 - 12:56 By zimasa matiwane
KZN DA Leader Zwakele Mncwango is taking time off to pursue PhD studies after serving two terms as party leader in the province.
KZN DA Leader Zwakele Mncwango is taking time off to pursue PhD studies after serving two terms as party leader in the province.

The outgoing DA leader in KwaZulu-Natal, Zwakele Mncwango, made an impassioned plea to party members not to do what a “few individuals tried to do to me when I was elected” by trying to oust new leaders.

Mncwango, who led the provincial party for two three-year terms, was speaking to party delegates at the Durban International Convention Centre on Saturday ahead of the vote for a new leadership collective.

Reflecting on his experience when he was first elected in 2015, Mncwango said: “I don’t normally talk about this but today I can say this because it's factual and those people are here.

“Some people were angry that their candidate lost in 2015. Instead of accepting democratic outcomes, they made all the attempts to unseat me from the position undemocratically.

“Some are on record saying they will never accept a leader that wears animal skins, but despite knowing how they feel about me I worked with them.”

Mncwango spoke candidly of frustrations he experienced over his two terms as leader, saying he did not “wish anyone to go through such painful experiences”.

He added: “Go read [DA federal legal commission] reports for the past six years, every year there was an investigation against me without fail.

“Strange enough, I was never charged or appeared before a disciplinary committee even once, but some people made sure that every year they colluded and fabricated allegations against me.

“What kept me going was integrity, ethics and courage to always do what is right. I never had a privilege to enjoy support from national leadership like other provincial leaders but I kept going and strong.”

Mncwango said he was grateful that the majority of the provincial party was behind him. But he said lies were spread about him, interfering with appointments and candidate selections.

“They even went as far as changing the constitution just to stop me from participating on panels while I was avoiding to come to interviews because I wanted them to hire people based on merit not political pressure,” he said.

“In the past six years, I have participated in not more than about three interviews.”

His advice to the new leadership, he said, was: “Always do the right thing and more importantly, protect professional staff members against any bullies. Never ask them to help you when driving your political agendas and don’t compromise staff.

“Our country needs ethical leadership and it all starts here. To those elected today, please remember that situations change but principles don’t change.”