Fourth time a charm for Lennit Max?
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.