Fourth time a charm for Len­nit Max?

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - NEWS - TSHEGO LEPULE

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

Max who con­firmed he would con­test the po­si­tion of pro­vin­cial DA leader come Oc­to­ber 7 at the party’s pro­vin­cial con­gress, has run three times in the past seven years.

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

He has also en­dorsed fel­low MPL, Ma­si­zole Mn­qasela, as his deputy chair­per­son.

The for­mer pro­vin­cial po­lice com­mis­sioner ran against Mayor Pa­tri­cia de Lille back in 2015 and lost.

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

He 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 am ready to go and get gold at the po­lit­i­cal Olympics of the DA,” he said.

Max said his pri­or­ity would be en­sur­ing 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, they feel like the step-chil­dren of the DA,” he said.

Max said the lat­est re­search in­di­cated 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,” he said.

“We need to im­prove ac­ces­si­bil­ity of lead­er­ship to all party mem­bers,” he said.

“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 here 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 na­tional lead­er­ship on.”

Max, who re­cently came into the spot­light when he sat on the pro­vin­cial leg­is­la­ture’s con­duct com­mit­tee that was in­ves­ti­gat­ing al­leged mis­con­duct by his op­po­nent Madik­izela over fail­ure to de­clare gifts that were over R1 500 from a birth­day party ear­lier this year, said dis­ci­pline in the party ranks was very im­por­tant.

Madik­izela landed in hot wa­ter when it was re­vealed he had failed to de­clare a R3 000 birth­day cake he re­ceived from a per­son 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 to en­sure the in­ves­ti­ga­tions didn’t ham­per Madik­izela’s chances of be­ing elected leader.

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

Len­nit Max

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