Fourth time a charm for Max?

Sunday Tribune - - NEWS - TSHEGO LEPULE

DA MPL Len­nit Max be­lieves the fourth time is a charm in his quest to be­come the party’s leader in the Western Cape.

Max, who con­firmed he would be stand­ing for the po­si­tion of Western Cape DA leader on Oc­to­ber 7, at the party’s pro­vin­cial congress, has run three times in the past seven years.

With nom­i­na­tions set to close to­mor­row, Max’s op­po­nent for the top po­si­tion is Hu­man Set­tle­ments MEC Bonginkosi Madik­izela.

The for­mer pro­vin­cial po­lice com­mis­sioner ran against City of Cape Town mayor Pa­tri­cia de Lille in 2015, and lost.

He was also un­suc­cess­ful when he ran for the po­si­tion in 2007 and 2010.

He also lost to Madik­izela in Fe­bru­ary this year, when the party ap­pointed an in­terim leader fol­low­ing De Lille’s res­ig­na­tion from the po­si­tion.

“The other three at­tempts were prac­tice ex­er­cises. I feel like I’m ready to go and get gold at the po­lit­i­cal Olympics of the DA,” he said.

Max said his pri­or­ity will be to en­sure the party’s mem­bers in the ru­ral areas were pri­ori­tised. “My cam­paign is re­ally sim­ple. Be­fore I ac­cepted nom­i­na­tion, I con­sulted with the party’s struc­tures and it was clear from the ru­ral areas that they felt ne­glected, es­pe­cially by the cur­rent lead­er­ship,” he said.

Max added that the last re­search in­di­cated that DA support in the prov­ince had de­creased from 63.6% in 2016 to 47% this year.

“We have lost a cou­ple of DA wards to the ANC and those poll re­sults don’t in­di­cate any­thing good and is a se­ri­ous red flag for the party.

“The re­al­ity is your ru­ral vote is more ex­pen­sive than your ur­ban vote. In ru­ral areas, peo­ple have to travel about 50km to cam­paign for votes whereas their coun­ter­parts, in the metro, travel shorter dis­tances and yet the re­sources they are al­lo­cated do not take this into con­sid­er­a­tion.

“Our mem­bers in those areas are ex­pected to win mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties that we don’t gov­ern with very lit­tle re­sources and this is some­thing I plan to en­gage na­tion lead­er­ship on.”

Max, who was in the spot­light re­cently when he sat on the pro­vin­cial leg­is­la­ture’s con­duct com­mit­tee that was in­ves­ti­gat­ing al­leged mis­con­duct by Madik­izela over fail­ure to de­clare gifts that were over R1 500 in value, said dis­ci­pline in the party ranks was very im­por­tant.

Madik­izela landed in hot wa­ter when it was re­vealed that he failed to de­clare a R3 000 birth­day cake he re­ceived from an in­di­vid­ual whose com­pany did work with his de­part­ment.

Max re­signed as chair­per­son of the com­mit­tee amid ru­mours.

He was pushed out by party lead­ers in the leg­is­la­ture, al­legedly to en­sure that the in­ves­ti­ga­tions didn’t ham­per Madik­izela’s chances of be­ing elected party leader.

“If any­one in the DA is sub­jected to in­ves­ti­ga­tion for con­tra­ven­ing the party’s con­sti­tu­tion, any breach should have con­se­quences,” Max said.

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