SADECO and Dr Ziba Jiyane join DA - Wilmot James

Former IFP chairperson crosses over, party hopes to make inroads in KZN

Note to editors: The following statement was distributed at a press conference held earlier today by DA Federal Chairperson Dr Wilmot James MP, KZN Provincial Leader Sizwe Mchunu MPL, Provincial Chairperson Greg Krumbock MP and the leadership of the South African Democratic Congress (SADECO).

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is pleased to welcome Dr Ziba Jiyane, the leadership of SADECO and its supporters into its ranks, following a resolution taken by the SADECO Federal Council on Monday 25 April to ‘close shop' and join the DA.

The DA celebrates this decision by SADECO as it continues to position itself as the only viable alternative to the ANC in South Africa. To this end, we have seen the Independent Democrats and SADECO join our ranks as part of the ongoing process of realignment in South African politics. This move takes us yet another step closer to building a new majority that has and will continue to win elections across South Africa.

Dr Ziba Jiyane, formerly the National Chairperson of the IFP, left the IFP after experiencing frustrations with the lack of internal democracy in its structures. His profile throughout the country, and especially in KwaZulu-Natal, has always been high, and he has earned the respect of residents, fellow legislators and especially the IFP Youth Brigade.

The reality is that the IFP has shed off-shoots of itself over many years as a result of its history of internal disputes. The DA has positioned itself as the party that will continue to attract former supporters of the IFP who are discontented with the IFP's gradual demise, and seek a political home that has a future in South Africa.

With the endorsement of former Premier Frank Mdlalose, and now Dr Ziba Jiyane and SADECO, the DA has staked a real claim to the 804 260 votes the IFP received in 2009. These votes represent the voters who will not be enticed by the promises of the ANC's campaign. With the continued demise of the IFP, these votes are accessible to the DA and all indications are that the party will grow substantially as a result.

The resolution arising from the meeting of the SADECO Federal Council on Monday refers to the fact that the political landscape of South Africa is now characterised by a two-party system. This consists of the ANC, on the one hand, and a united group of supporters of liberal democracy under the banner of the DA, on the other.

The SADECO resolution states:

"The Federal Council of SADECO now, therefore, resolves: to effectively "close shop" as an independent political operation, and to join the DA, in order to better pursue our vision of a stronger and consolidated democratic opposition and multi-party democracy in South Africa."

By joining the DA, SADECO members will be espousing the values that are at the core of the DA's vision of the Open, Opportunity Society for All. Sitting SADECO councillors in nine municipalities will remain as SADECO councillors for legal reasons, but for all other intents and purposes they will operate as full members of the DA.

Dr Jiyane has stated that "I have followed the progress of the DA with great interest in the past few years. It is a party that has delivered to everyone where it governs, is truly for all the people of South Africa, and I urge all South Africans to support the DA as the only party capable of achieving positive change for our country".

The DA's record in government, in the Western Cape and in the municipalities we govern, has positioned it as the party that can solve the service delivery issues in South Africa. This has made the DA an attractive prospect to other political parties and their supporters, and promises to be the driving force behind the DA's growth in this election.

Issued by the DA, April 28 2011

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