The New National Party on Monday shed nine of its 28 MPs to the
Democratic Alliance, pushing up the DA's numbers in the National
Assembly to 47.
The new members were welcomed to the party by DA leader Tony Leon
during a media conference on Monday afternoon.
They are NNP caucus chair Sheila Camerer, former Western Cape MEC
and Speaker Willem Doman, Eastern Cape NNP leader Wilhelm le Roux,
former NNP chief whip Sakkie Pretorius, former NNP federal council
secretary Frik van Deventer, Craig Morkel, Maans Nel, Pierre Rabie
and Charles Redcliffe.
Three of the NNP's Western Cape MPLs -- Gerrit van Rensburg, Ryno
King, and Alta Roussouw -- also joined the DA on Monday.
During the media briefing, Leon said he was particularly pleased
that the "new recruits" included the NNP's parliamentary caucus
chair and Eastern Cape leader.
"This is just the first swell of a tidal wave that will destroy the
NNP and bolster the DA's position as the largest and only
nationwide alternative to the ANC.
"Indeed the mass defection of senior NNP public representatives to
the DA is final proof that the NNP is dead as a political and
electoral force in South African politics," he said.
"The ANC's mission is to extend its control over all of South
Africa. The DA's mission is to build a principled and democratic
alternative to the ANC. The members who join us today have chosen
to help us build that alternative."
Leon said further discussions with other politicians were still
underway, and announcements would be made in due course.
The new DA members expressed their delight at being back in the
party they were forced to leave when NNP leader Marthinus van
Schalkwyk withdrew the NNP from the DA about 18 months ago.
In his reaction, Van Schalkwyk said the "split from the NNP by
certain MP's is about a disagreement on the direction of the
"The majority in the NNP is committed to taking the hands of all
communities and to build a South Africa where coloured, white,
black and Indian will be playing a meaningful role together.
"Those MP's that are splitting from the NNP to join the DA will
certainly find themselves at home within the right-wing politics of
the DA," Van Schalkwyk said - Sapa
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