By: Basa Mushi
As political parties ready themselves for the local government elections, the Patriotic Alliance (PA) continues to make inroads in bolstering its leadership pool.
On Monday, Theunissen’ Bumper Morgan’ Andrews switched colours from the ANC and joined the PA. Andrews was the regional secretary of the ANC’s Westcoast Region and joined the PA as the deputy mayoral candidate for the Westcoast District Municipality.
PA’s deputy provincial leader in the Western Cape, Sammy Claassen, said Bumper is an experienced politician who commands considerable political support. Described as a well-respected, seasoned cadre and an activist of note, Andrews’s resignation has shaken the ANC in the Western Cape.
“His decision to join the Patriotic Alliance has shaken the ANC. It provides great momentum and traction in our quest to challenge both the ANC and DA for municipal power and control in the upcoming local government elections,” said Claassen.
“We are excited and happy to welcome Bumper, who served the ANC as its regional secretary in the Westcoast region. We are now convinced that the ANC is no longer the leader of society as it has lost the plot and failed South Africa,” Claassen added.
Andrews’s resignation was not only a shock for his former organisation, but the news also surprised the leadership of the PA. Claassen said the announcement was “like a nuclear bomb exploding”.
“Many thought it was a joke or prank as it seemed unreal. When we called the President of the Patriotic Alliance, Mr Gayton McKenzie, to inform him about Bumper, he laughed in disbelief. He said, ‘Bumper, Bumper, no, you are telling lies’,” said Claassen.
After donning his green colours, McKenzie announced Andrews as the Deputy Mayoral Candidate for the Westcoast District Municipality. He said his skills would be a big asset to the organisation.
“We welcome him into the Patriotic Alliance. We are grateful to be exposed to his skills and political experience. Many leaders with the calibre of Bumper are overlooked and side-lined in the ANC. Bumper is called to serve the Patriotic Alliance and the people of the Westcoast.”
Speaking to Africa News 24-7, Andrews said the ANC was the only party he knew, and he had dedicated his entire life to it. He, however, felt he could not better the lives of his people while with the ANC.
“My whole life, I was a loyal member and supporter of the ANC. But when confronted with realities on the ground, I had no choice but to avail my skills and energy to better the lives of my people on the West Coast. Should I get the mandate from the masses, in my position as Deputy Mayor, I would be able to influence and drive programmes to change people’s lives,” said Andrews
Andrews said that the decision by the ANC to unleash the army on citizens was the last straw for him.
“If the ANC can turn their back on ordinary people, it means they can do it to the whole of South Africa. They demonstrated it when they deployed the army against its poor citizens in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. This is an indication of a liberation movement that has lost contact with the people on the ground.”
Andrews said he has decided to ignore the attacks he is receiving following his resignation and focus on the journey ahead.