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Mark Heywood to join hands with Roger Jardine in formation of new political movement

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Mark Heywood to join hands with Roger Jardine in formation of new political movement

7th December 2023

By: News24Wire

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Social justice activist Mark Heywood is transitioning to politics as he plans to join former banker Roger Jardine to form a new "political movement".

Heywood told News24 on Thursday that he took a "justified risk" by moving from civil society to politics, given South Africa's challenges. 

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Jardine, who recently resigned as chairperson of the FirstRand Group, is expected to launch his campaign on Sunday ahead of the 2024 elections. Heywood is among a group of prominent South Africans who plan to join Jardine.

"You will understand why I am making this transition. I have always fought for equality," said Heywood, who headed NGO Section27.

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He said he was approached weeks ago to join people he respects in their quest to fix South Africa.

Heywood added, "[The political movement] aims to be ambitious and bold, to become an alternative that can fix our country and that will centre itself on people of unquestionable integrity and an agenda to fix our country."

Sunday Times reported that Jardine met senior leaders from the Democratic Alliance, including leader John Steenhuisen and Federal Council chairperson Helen Zille, to discuss the possibility of being the Multi-Party Charter's presidential candidate.

However, the parties forming part of the charter said they had not discussed fielding Jardine as a presidential candidate. 

Heywood said Jardine led efforts with an "experienced group of people" who were committed to fixing the country. 

He would not reveal who else plans to join the formation of the new movement. 

Heywood added that South Africa's crises required civil society and business leaders to "move closer to electoral politics".

"We need to move social movements to electoral politics and closer to power where they can have real influence in shaping a new agenda," he said. 

It was widely expected that Jardine would contest the 2024 elections as an independent candidate. 

The Constitutional Court ruled this week that independent candidates need 1 000 signatures to contest.

Others who announced their transition to politics include Zackie Achmat, who is a well-known HIV/Aids activist.

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