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25 May 2017
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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 NNP".

"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
Edited by: Terence Creamer
Creamer Media Editor
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